Electric Chain Saws


Mosquito Mountain Montana HomesteadI got a bit of a shock the other day while talking to a neighbor about firewood cutting. I'd seen him suited up in chaps and helmet and packing a saw by the wood pile so the next time we were sitting on his front porch shooting the bull I casually asked how the wood cutting was going. He replied that it was going well. Then he somewhat timidly stated that he'd been using an electric chain saw to cut up his firewood. It was lighter and quieter than his gas saws, hence easier on aging hands and ears. Plus he didn't spend hours swimming in the fumes and smoke left by the mix of gas and oil powering the saw.

A 16-inch Craftsman electric chain saw.

A 16-inch Craftsman electric chain saw. At 3.5-horsepower, it's capable of competing against most mini-saws.

It surprised him when I applauded his decision and stated that if we were on the grid I'd have one too. In the past I had displayed a very low opinion of electric chin saws.

Even for homesteaders (or especially for homesteaders?), new ways of doing things can be resisted. I had that problem for many years regarding electric chain saws. It didn't help that early models were expensive and way underpowered and that, for the last decade or so, we've lived off-grid with limited electricity or that most of my wood cutting is done way out in the woods on trees averaging 18 inches in diameter or more.

All of these conspired to give me a distinctly negative opinion of electric chain saws. But even old dogs (and homesteaders!) can learn new tricks if they want to, and my opinion of electric chain saws has changed.

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