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Thread: Vent Saws

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    Default Vent Saws

    I know there has been lots of disucssion on different vent saws, we are currently looking to purchase one. We had a saw to demo the other night at training it was a SureVent saw. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this brand. We also had a chance to use a Cuters Edge last year and the only trouble was the chain came off two times while cutting about 4 holes.

    Regards,

    JS


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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    If you had problems with a Cutters Edge, someone wasnt doing something right or something was previously outtawack. Was it a dealer's demo unit? If so it was probably used and abused to the max. I have been using Cutters Edge saws for over 10 years and have NEVER, repeat NEVER had one leave me hanging- Like anything else they require routine maintenance to be on the ready. CE puts out a quality product, sounds to me like you were having (bent/out of alignment) clutch sprocket problems on that one you mentioned.

    Cant speak for SureVent, never heard of them.

    If I may offer some advice, if you only have money budgeted for one unit, I reccomend a circular saw with multiple blades- buy a warthog (DO NOT BUY ANY OTHERS!) and several carbide/abrasive steel and concrete blades. That way, you have the ability to cut multiple materials. I would buy a Partner K950A. A GREAT saw coupled with the Warthog blade with plenty of horsepower and not as big and bulky as the K-1200. Stay away from Stihl circular saws, TOO BIG TOO BULKY.

    If you have the money, I would buy a Partner K-950A and a Cutters Edge chainsaw. Stihl chainsaws are great units, but they dont have one that turns a carbide/bullet chain fast enough (see the other thread.)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Forum Member Squad1LT's Avatar
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    Sure-vent is the way to go. We use them for all of your roof venting. I have used other vent saws and they are puny compared to a Sure-Vent. It also won't cut out cutting in smoky conditions. I have vented holes where I had to have my mask on and could barely see and the saw still ran. I also like the wheel depth gauge. It is quick to take of if you ever needed to cut a window to get someone out. It is a beast of a saw.

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    I see above the mention of rotary saws and chain saw based products. They are vastly different, consideration to what you are cutting, who is cutting, what types of occupancies you are dealing with... before you decide on the type of saw, then after that decision is made decide on a brand or model.
    For overall safety, departments that are not cutting roofs everyday should stay away from rotary saws. Rotary saws in the hands of an inexperienced or untrained firefighter are a great hazard to firefighters. The chain based products are safer, and considerably easier to operate especially if you are dealing with peaked roofs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfTL41 View Post
    I see above the mention of rotary saws and chain saw based products. They are vastly different, consideration to what you are cutting, who is cutting, what types of occupancies you are dealing with... before you decide on the type of saw, then after that decision is made decide on a brand or model.
    For overall safety, departments that are not cutting roofs everyday should stay away from rotary saws. Rotary saws in the hands of an inexperienced or untrained firefighter are a great hazard to firefighters. The chain based products are safer, and considerably easier to operate especially if you are dealing with peaked roofs.
    I would respectfully disagree with your comment. I know that the majority of the trucks on your job do not cut roofs "everyday", but they still carry only rotary saws. Why? Because they train frequently with them. No different than a rural volunteer FD, a small city, or the FDNY. It comes down to training.

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    I agree with you... It doesn't matter if they cut one hole a shift or one hole a month.... If they are trained on how to use a circular than they should be fine. I personally like the circular with the wharthog blade, if you have a good saw with plenty of power you can forget about taking the shingles off before starting.... that baby will cut it all!
    JOHN 15:13

    ISAIAH 43:2



    1st Asst. Chief Ray Johns

    FF/NREMT-B

    Marion Volunteer Fire Department

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    Default

    I also think that the smaller the dept, the more useful a circular saw will be. They are one of the most versatile single peices of equipment you can get. Vent/Force Entry/Rescue/Hall Work/Construction, etc. Just keep in mind that a small circular saw is useless for fire work. They just can't turn the 12+ inch specialty blades fast enough for the tough jobs.

    Cost-wise however (saw and blades), the chainsaw usually wins out. A smaller chainsaw can still have use for basic vent and limited forcible entry, plus some wildland work.

    Go as big as you can afford however. Our Stihl MS460-RS (6.0hp) is nice for a chainsaw, and our Stihl TS 700 (6.8hp) is great for spinning the warthog, but I wouldn't want any smaller. The Stihls are a little bulkier, but they are remarkably light.

    The extra cost for a premium Partner or a Cutters Edge isn't always justified in a low-volume rural hall, but they are nice saws.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    We deal with a great deal of peaked roofs.
    Up until two years ago we used the Homelite XL-98, at which time we switched to the Husqvarna saw. The Husky is a very good saw, but it is easier to flood than the XL-98, and quite a bit heavier.
    It is essential to know your tools, and be very comfortable with them.


    http://www.usa.husqvarna.com/

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    MembersZone Subscriber jfTL41's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37truck View Post
    I would respectfully disagree with your comment. I know that the majority of the trucks on your job do not cut roofs "everyday", but they still carry only rotary saws. Why? Because that is what they are issued, only in SOC units and a few companies who have procured their own cutters edge saws do you have a choice, the saw is the saw. The thread was not about what we have, it was about a department looking into different saws. Because they train frequently with them. Not really No different than a rural volunteer FD, a small city, or the FDNY. It comes down to training.
    It has been my experience, from operating with both types of saws at fires on both flat roofs and peaked roofs, as well as having trained hundreds of firefighters on the safe use of power saws for ventilation, that the rotary saw is a FAR more dangerous tool than the chain saw for working in smoke while defying gravity, regardless of whose hands it is in and the level of training. I will not say one tool is better than the other because they both do the job.

    You brought up the FDNY... Just because FDNY does something or uses something does not make it right for your department. You have to make decisions based on the needs of your department. Many purchases in NYC are politically driven, rather than need or performance based, it is a beurocracy like any other. Manufacturers want NYC to buy thier products because they know that many other departments will follow blindly (if it works in FDNY it will work anywhere syndrome).

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    Default WartHog

    We used the Warthog to do a full trench cut on a 3story office complex. using a Partner 750 saw. once you bury the blade.... keep your RPMs up, and let her EAT....You will fall in love... Ill never use a chainsaw to vent again....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfTL41 View Post
    It has been my experience, from operating with both types of saws at fires on both flat roofs and peaked roofs, as well as having trained hundreds of firefighters on the safe use of power saws for ventilation, that the rotary saw is a FAR more dangerous tool than the chain saw for working in smoke while defying gravity, regardless of whose hands it is in and the level of training. I will not say one tool is better than the other because they both do the job.

    You brought up the FDNY... Just because FDNY does something or uses something does not make it right for your department. You have to make decisions based on the needs of your department. Many purchases in NYC are politically driven, rather than need or performance based, it is a beurocracy like any other. Manufacturers want NYC to buy thier products because they know that many other departments will follow blindly (if it works in FDNY it will work anywhere syndrome).
    I agree with JFTL41,

    It is all fine and good to look to other departments for suggestions and ideas...after all millions are spent each year on texts written by chiefs from other departments, training from outside agencies and events like Expo and FDIC.

    However the information and circumstances behind each tool or technique...etc must be understood and only if similar or other factors support such a purchase or technique can it be justified.

    Just as many including myself have stated that the BenII is junk and that just because the city issues us that helmet doesn't mean it is the best helmet on the market...one needs to consider the reasons behind why we or anyone else has any certain tool. As JFTL41 aluded to...the helmets for example have to do with contracts and politics not being the best product on the market.

    FTM-PTB

    PS- And for the record the Ladder Co's. in my battalion all have a chain saw and multiple rotary saws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic574 View Post
    We used the Warthog to do a full trench cut on a 3story office complex. using a Partner 750 saw. once you bury the blade.... keep your RPMs up, and let her EAT....You will fall in love... Ill never use a chainsaw to vent again....
    AFFIRM! Accept we run in on a 950 saw... the little extra added "oomph" keeps the revolutions up and we all know those Warthog Blades go through anything as long as you keep them spinning nice and fast.

    Chain saws though, it depends on your area. If you have a heavy commercial base plus residential, then the Cutters Edge (or Tempest version) with the bullet chain and a depth gauge is a winner in my eyes. If your mostly a residential "Bedroom" community with peaked shingled roofs, then the Echo Quick-Vent may be a better all around choice.

    Another thing that is becoming popular around here is companies getting pole saws and fitting them with diamond tip chains.(avail at any landscaping shop) Were finding that letting the tower ladder guys use these on the new lightweight truss roofs is doing a great job while not attempting to sacrifise anyone on these crappy buildings.

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    We have also had great success with the Partner K950/Warthog blade combo. In my experience, chainsaws/Cutters Edge are good for simple wood frame SFDs, but the rotary saw will work better as a "one size fits all". If I could only have one saw, it would be the K950. With all the blades available, you can accomplish many tasks.

    The rotary saws do require more training familiarization though. If a rookie has never used a saw before, the roof of a building is not the best place to become acclimated to the power/torque(isn't there a specific word that can be used here?) associated w/ the rotary saw. It all falls back on being familiar and properly trained on your equipment.

    That is an interesting idea in regards to the pole saws on lightweight roofs. Good thinking. Have you all had much success with that?

    Stay Safe

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    I agree with JFTL41,

    It is all fine and good to look to other departments for suggestions and ideas...after all millions are spent each year on texts written by chiefs from other departments, training from outside agencies and events like Expo and FDIC.

    However the information and circumstances behind each tool or technique...etc must be understood and only if similar or other factors support such a purchase or technique can it be justified.

    Just as many including myself have stated that the BenII is junk and that just because the city issues us that helmet doesn't mean it is the best helmet on the market...one needs to consider the reasons behind why we or anyone else has any certain tool. As JFTL41 aluded to...the helmets for example have to do with contracts and politics not being the best product on the market.

    FTM-PTB

    PS- And for the record the Ladder Co's. in my battalion all have a chain saw and multiple rotary saws.
    Brothers,

    I will agree that a rotary saw is more difficult to handle when compared to the chainsaw. In my opinon Partner builds an excellent saw. The new models seem to be better balanced resulting in reduced gyroscopic effect. Which helps make the saw easier to operate. I do not care how the FDNY's purchasing process operates. You misunderstood my comment. What I meant was from the smallest fire department to the "biggest" fire department, safe saw operations come down to training regardless of type.

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    "Gyroscopic" I knew there was a specific word out there relating to this!

    Stay Safe

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    I agree with JFTL41,

    It is all fine and good to look to other departments for suggestions and ideas...after all millions are spent each year on texts written by chiefs from other departments, training from outside agencies and events like Expo and FDIC.

    However the information and circumstances behind each tool or technique...etc must be understood and only if similar or other factors support such a purchase or technique can it be justified.

    Just as many including myself have stated that the BenII is junk and that just because the city issues us that helmet doesn't mean it is the best helmet on the market...one needs to consider the reasons behind why we or anyone else has any certain tool. As JFTL41 aluded to...the helmets for example have to do with contracts and politics not being the best product on the market.

    FTM-PTB

    PS- And for the record the Ladder Co's. in my battalion all have a chain saw and multiple rotary saws.
    Sorry, I will strike the "only" from my reply.

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