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    Default Using electric saws for ventilation

    Hey, I was doing truck checks recently with a LT. and on our tower there is an electric chain saw with the roof saw and the K-12. The LT. said that the electric saw would be used for ventilation.

    He also added that the smoke can choke a gas powered saw. What are your opinions on using a gas powered saw vs. an electric saw?
    Last edited by Motorhead90; 10-22-2007 at 05:49 PM.
    "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up"-Steven Wright

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    Never thought about it before.

    My first thought, most of the electrics I have used don't have the HP of a gas saw.

    2nd thought is, most of those didn't have sealed motors either. With all the combustible gases, couldn't they possibly spark and set off an explosion? Gasoline powered saws get choked out before you reach the LEL of CO, is my guess. Electric would still run.

    Without a sealed motor, with all the water on the fire ground, I am thinking you might waterlog the electric motor by accident sometime and then you have a shock hazard or a broken saw.

    I think it would be possible to design a sealed electric motor that would be safe in an explosive atmosphere and be waterproof, but if it had plenty of HP, it would also be a heavy heavy beast of a saw.

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    I have never had a saw not run because of smoke. I would believe the cord would create some serious issues. I guess if we don't try something new (like this) we'll never progress...let us know how this works out for you guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 37truck View Post
    I have never had a saw not run because of smoke. I would believe the cord would create some serious issues. I guess if we don't try something new (like this) we'll never progress...let us know how this works out for you guys.

    My guess would be that this saw would be cordless (rechargeable)?

    As kd7fds stated, I don't think this saw would have the power of a gas powered saw. Most of the time, you are through with the saw before you punch through the ceiling to allow the smoke out (residential structures anyway). All in all, I think we will stick with gas powered saws for now.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Is it "progressive" to try an electric chain saw?

    Personally, I see enough reasons not to try one, the biggest of which is that long extension cord running up to the roof with the saw. A cordless one? Haven't found a battery operated tool that would have enough power to last any length of time running.

    I'll stick with my "traditional" gas powered saw.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    "I have never had a saw not run because of smoke."

    I have.......twice. One time, the moment I dropped the saw in the roof, so much smoke came pushing out the kerf cut, the guy holding on to my pack couldn't see me. The saw choked out shortly thereafter. That would be the downside of the gas engine. I have also heard of using electric chain saws for RIC scenarios, if you have to use it inside a smoked filled building, where the saw might be choked out by the smoke. The main draw back is the cord. As was said before, I have yet to use a cordless (battery operated) tool that performs as well as a conventional corded tool. That being said, I believe I saw a pic somewhere on here of someone using a 18volt sawzall to vent a roof. Not sure how well it works, but its something different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    "I have never had a saw not run because of smoke."

    I have.......twice. One time, the moment I dropped the saw in the roof, so much smoke came pushing out the kerf cut, the guy holding on to my pack couldn't see me. The saw choked out shortly thereafter. That would be the downside of the gas engine.
    How often do you use your saw? If it stalled it is most likely a filter issue. My company does hundreds of hours of saw time on, in and around fire buildings every year. In all kinds of smoke environments and I do not know of a single incident of the saw dying from smoke. Recently, a friend of mine was telling me about his guys operating their "irons" saw inside an Washington Heights apartment building under high heat and low visibility conditions without issue. Daily proper maintenance is key as is having a saw designed for our line of work.

    As for the electric chainsaw...I was not serious about the progressive comment. I can see the benefits of an electric chainsaw for the fire service (in the technical rescue arena), just not on the fireground.

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    No need for an electric chain saw on my piece. Never had a saw choke out, that wouldnt restart when attempted.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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    Thanks, it didn't make sense to me either using an electric saw at a fire. They don't seem too effective compared to beasts like the roof saw or the
    K-12. Unless you're trying to cut thru a thatch roof.
    "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up"-Steven Wright

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    Interesting, I've never even seen an electric saw on a truck except for Sawz-alls (sp?). Never had any problems with gas-powered saws here. All I've ever used and they are the gold standard. Except for the K-12, all of the saws I've seen and/or used were manufactured specifically for fire service use, thus designed to be able to operate in smoke.

    Are you sure it didn't end up on there with the intent of being used for clearing brush or tree limbs from storms or some such?

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    Always use electric tools when you are working around the area of origin. And don't bring the generator into the scene. The possibility of contamination is great.

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    37 Truck

    Not doubting you, I can only speak of what has happened to me. Both times I was using a Stihl chainsaw. Maybe the filter on them is not as good as that on a K12 (not sure what an "irons" saw is). The station that I was at did a lot of truck work, and the equipment was always kept in good shape. Both times I was in smoke so thick, you would have thought you were inside. I had to back up and out of teh smoke so I could see what I was doing and reposition. Maybe I have been unlucky twice, anything is possible. The one thing it did teach me was to stop bringing a chainsaw and always use the K12. I thought the reason the smoke choked the saw out was because the combustion engines need air to run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    37 Truck

    Not doubting you, I can only speak of what has happened to me. Both times I was using a Stihl chainsaw. Maybe the filter on them is not as good as that on a K12 (not sure what an "irons" saw is). The station that I was at did a lot of truck work, and the equipment was always kept in good shape. Both times I was in smoke so thick, you would have thought you were inside. I had to back up and out of teh smoke so I could see what I was doing and reposition. Maybe I have been unlucky twice, anything is possible. The one thing it did teach me was to stop bringing a chainsaw and always use the K12. I thought the reason the smoke choked the saw out was because the combustion engines need air to run.

    Stay Safe
    Cap,
    I am willing to bet that the reason the engine choked out was because the Stihl saw is not filtered as the vent saw would be. Not saying that the saw doesnt do the job, but our Cutters edge vent saw has a external air filter with an additional foam filter on it and we have used it inside and not had it choke out. Internal combustion engines do need air to run, but if the air is dirty and filled with particulates it would make the saw run worse and cause it to stall.
    Shawn M. Cecula
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewiston2Capt View Post
    Cap,
    I am willing to bet that the reason the engine choked out was because the Stihl saw is not filtered as the vent saw would be. Not saying that the saw doesnt do the job, but our Cutters edge vent saw has a external air filter with an additional foam filter on it and we have used it inside and not had it choke out. Internal combustion engines do need air to run, but if the air is dirty and filled with particulates it would make the saw run worse and cause it to stall.
    I would agree. Unless your Stihl is an MS460 (rescue/vent saw) the regular saw filter is not designed to handle the amount of particulates present heavy smoke. 044 and 046 saws are still great saws though. The Partners weren't designed for the smoke, but for concrete dust. They utilize a multi-stage filter system with large filters that happens to work exceptionally well in smoke. When the saw stalls, in smoke, it not from a lack of ambient oxygen, but the filter is plugged and does not allow enough air into the motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    37 Truck

    not sure what an "irons" saw is
    The FDNY refers to their saws as either "vent saw" set up with a carbide tipped blade, either 12 or 24 teeth, or "irons saw" which is set up with an aluminum oxide disc for forcible entry and other metal cutting ops.

    stay safe

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    Default Electric Saw in RIT Senrarios?

    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    "I have never had a saw not run because of smoke."

    I have.......twice. One time, the moment I dropped the saw in the roof, so much smoke came pushing out the kerf cut, the guy holding on to my pack couldn't see me. The saw choked out shortly thereafter. That would be the downside of the gas engine. I have also heard of using electric chain saws for RIC scenarios, if you have to use it inside a smoked filled building, where the saw might be choked out by the smoke. The main draw back is the cord. As was said before, I have yet to use a cordless (battery operated) tool that performs as well as a conventional corded tool. That being said, I believe I saw a pic somewhere on here of someone using a 18volt sawzall to vent a roof. Not sure how well it works, but its something different.

    Stay Safe

    Cap6888,

    Who uses an electric chain saw for RIC Operations? That is one of the most shocking things I think I have ever heard of. I can think of a few major saftey issues right off hand. Of course the first being the problem you have with water and electricity mixing. I just dont think I could send my guys in or go in to get my guys with a 40 Dollar Home Depot chain saw, esp when your flowing 1000+ GPM. I would feel much much more comfortable with my husqvarna. I mean the technology with electric motors has not evolved enough I think to deliver a reliable, fesible product to todays fire service not to mention the reliablity of our saws. I have never had a saw failure, due to smoke. Ill stick to my Gas....Im open for comments on my article since its my first one.

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