Thread: Vent saws

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    Talking Vent saws

    What vent saws are best? Cutters Edge, Partner K-12 saw etc. I know there are more but can't think of them right now. My dept is wanting to buy one and we have several different opinions. Any input would be grateful!

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    The coolest saw I've used is at college, which was a K-12 with, I think, a warthog blade on it. That thing tore through everything!

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    We use an "ECHO Quick Vent" with a bullit chain. Tears through anything, but the bullit chains ain't cheap. It has a 12" drop blade that makes it comfortable to use.

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    In my opinion, if you are looking strickly for a saw for say, roof ventilation, I'd go with one of the chain saw style saws. I think they are easier to control than the K-12 type for people that don't have significant upper body strength. On the other hand, the K-12 saw can cut more materials with a quick blade change if you are going to only have the one saw.

    I like Partner's new K-12 as far as rotory saws go. Haven't worked with any of the newer chainsaw types, so I have no opinion on which is better.
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    My department uses a K-14 I believe. Our K-12 broke and our department went for an upgrade. K-14 just doesn't sound right.

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    A K-12 saw works great. Yes, it can cut more material with a quick blade change to cut what you want. It is heavy. Someone would need to be fairly strong to operate it.

    A Cutter's Edge saw is nice too. It is a chainsaw type saw but with a more heavy duty chain. It is lighter but only cuts wood roofs. Hit too many nails and you gotta replace the chain or at least sharpen it again.

    Just make sure you do plenty of research with your neighbors and the internet on the best deal you will get and if they will stand behind their product.

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    Partner K950 Active is a nice saw. Don't waste your money on the fireservice saw it is the same thing. The modifications can be done in house.
    The cutter's edge is also nice but I'm not a huge fan of the chainsaw.
    Don't forget the TS 510 STIHL. it is about the same as the 950 but a little less money.
    If you plan on using a specialty blade try the saw 1st. The warthog is a heavy blade and may not work as well as you want depending on the saw. We had an older Stihl and it didn't have enough hp to move the blade well.
    Also the Ventmaster can be purchased for less by just getting an upgrade kit from http://www.tempest-edge.com/saws/upgrade.htm and use a good chainsaw. The exact saw for forestry and the upgrade kit will save you several hundred dollars.

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    We used K-12's to vent for years untill we did a mutual aid drill with another local FD. They had a Cutters Edge that we tried out. WOW! We now carry chain saws for vent work. We still have the K-12's for cutting metal and masonry, but for roof work nothing beats a chain saw!

    Dave

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    Default here's what we use

    All Our Engines carry a good ol' Stihl chainsaw. No special chain and it gets cleaned and sharpened after every use. We DO have an Echo Quick Vent saw but no one likes it. Maybe ours is a lemon, but it seems to almost need an overhaul every month, it's very hard to start, the brake on it just SUCKS and 9 out of 10 times the bar is loose during the weekly truck check. That's on the Heavy Rescue. It's kept behind the Stihl rotary saw with a chopper blade. I used our old K12 and another FD's newer one this thing cuts just as well at a lot less weight. The Ladder has a Husqavarna(sp?) rotary saw, and I'd say it's on par with a newr K12 in weight and capability. All the saws get cleaned, serviced, fueled and oiled after every use, even if it was just a sapling we cleared out to make a little old lady happy. Oh yeah, the brush truck has 2 Stihls on it. We do all our Trees and Wires calls with that in addition to grass fires.

    P.S. before anyone gets to use a saw on a roof they have to cut a vent hole with an axe, makes them appreciate the saws a little more.
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    Our trucks carry 3 different power saws.

    1. Cutters edge with bullit chain (used for venting)
    2. K-12 w/ various blades (cutting through bars, metal doors, venting)
    3. Saws-all with various blades

    My last dept also had a cutters edge. It usually makes pretty short work of cutting a vert vent.
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    Default Re: here's what we use

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by tripperff
    [B]All Our Engines carry a good ol' Stihl chainsaw. No special chain and it gets cleaned and sharpened after every use. We DO have an Echo Quick Vent saw but no one likes it. Maybe ours is a lemon, but it seems to almost need an overhaul every month, it's very hard to start, the brake on it just SUCKS and 9 out of 10 times the bar is loose during the weekly truck check.]

    Our Quick Vent is a lemon too!!!!. The power plant is not powerfull enough. The bar is WAY to short. The next fire we get it just might get "accidently" knocked off the roof. We now have 2 husky chain saws on the truck. You can save a ton of money if you just get the bar and chain package linked above. Take the ventmaster and peel off the ventmaster sticker you will have the husky sticker. One saw has a regular chain and a 16" bar the roof saw has a 20" bar and the kit. Word of warring with the warthog type blades. You MUST start the cut at full speed. I watched a firefighter get pulled out of the bucket of a tower ladder. He just set the saw on the roof and squezzed the throttle. The blade did not cut it just dug in and climbed up the roof. The guy also did not let go of the saw

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    Each of our stations has a K-12 rotary saw, but fon't get used for normal roof ventilation. We stick to the Stihl chain saws. Can't remember the model #, but I think it's the 290. We just get the Carbichains (I believe) for them. Our other station used to have a vent saw and we had a older Stihl and the vent saw could not compete with our Stihl. In fact, the original Stihl we got (which is still in service) got left on a roof when it started to go up and 2 of us had to bail off it. It caught on fire and we just had to get a new plastic cober for it and it still works great. I can't see spending the money for a "vent saw" when a good ole Stihl works just as good, if not better.

    Still need to have the K-12 though. They work great for opening up trailers and metal doors or commercial roofs.

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    Default Re: Re: here's what we use

    We use Cutter's Edge chainsaws for wood, and Stihl rotary cut-off saws for metal/masonry.
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    We use either a regular Stihl chain saw with a depth gauge or a Stihl Quik-Vent. I don't prefer the Quick-Vent, too hard to start.

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    My Tower Ladder has four saws on it. Two are Partner saws and two are Cutters Edge saws. The Cutters Edge is great for wood roof operations. They work well off a roofing ladder and also from the bucket. The best part is you don't have to cut in straight lines like the Partner saw. They are also great for RIT work. You can easily use them to cut holes in floors, expand windows, cut through exterior walls in residential houses. The Partner saws are great for commercial roof work and forcible entry. They also can do some concrete cutting work. It all depends on your response area what saw will work for you. If you have to use the saw for both residential and commercial then the Partner saw can do that for you.

    Stay Safe

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    a good ol K12 your all purpose saw

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    Dickey,We got a CE and it will cut a lot more than wood.I've cut thru nails,aluminum roofing,steel roofing just to name a few.We keep a spare bullet chain so when it dulls up put on the spare and send the other one to the factory for sharpening.We also have a t-50 Stihl Wheel saw for utiliy work.Both great tools.T.C.

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    Default K-950

    Truck companies in our department carry the Partener K-950 and the Cutter's edge Cahin saw for roof work, a Stihl chain saw for non-roof cuttting operations and a Stihl rotary saw with an aluminum oxide blade for forcible entry and other metal-cutting jobs. The Cutter's edge is good for pitched roofs and other residential type roofs (plywood or wood decking with shingles or tin). However, it is very ineffective and tends to gum-up quickly on built-up commercial type roofs (layered tar, insulation, roofing felt and gravel) and rubber membrane roofs. The K-950 is the best saw to use for these types of roofs. It will cut much quicker and last longer before the blade needs changing. In addition, the Cutter's Edge must be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned after each use, which can be a real pain if it is used on a regular basis. The K-950, on the other hand, usually only requires blade cleaning after each use.

    My money's on the K-950!

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    I like the Stihl chainsaw with the depht gauge, it does the work.
    We also use a Husqvarna rotary saw, it works very well but is a hole lot hevier
    to operate than a regular chainsaw.

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    Default Saws

    We carry an Echo Quik Vent and an older K-12 that needs updated. One thing we found about the Echo is that it doesn't work too well for doing an enlarged opening in a wall for a RIT operation. The short blade is nice for opening a roof, but it doesn't give you a deep enough cut when opening a wall.
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    We use Stihl chain saws and the Stihl equivalent of a K-12 and have pretty good luck with them. We have a Stihl service man in town so that had some bearing on our choice - parts are easy to get, too.

    For those of you with ISO concerns, ISO used to publish an equivalency list stating that chain saws were acceptable substitutes for rotary saws ONLY IF they had carbide-tipped chains.

    On a related subject, is there a significant difference between brands of abrasive wheel blades?
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    Default Chain Saw

    Our department is moving from the Cutter's Edge to the Sthil 440 with an exhaust gaurd and titanium chain bar. You can get parts easily and its not as "hopped up" as the 460 (read:reliability). What chain will you be using? Makes all the difference. Here is an idea, buy a 100' roll of terminator chain and make your own, cheaper sharper and less time with the file.

    Be safe,

    Truck Engineer Hootman

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    Default Also

    Chief,

    Trash the depth guard and train on how to roll the rafters, it gives you more versatility on built up roofs. Not to mention the possibility of sawing away at the stability of the roof your working on. Just an opinion.

    Hootman

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