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Author Topic: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?  (Read 777 times)

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Offline kantuckid

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Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« on: October 03, 2021, 08:57:32 AM »
Up to now, my wired together left shoulder in combo with my compression release MS241 Stihl saw have served me well-& a Stihl 170 that even lighter and starts easy anyway. 
Two weeks ago while wrestling a large pile of dry 2x6's through my planer- the few "kinky ones" I strained my 77 yr old rt shoulder. I found it hard to get my coffee mug into an elevated microwave to give you right idea... 
So I found a shoulder specialist who found no rotator cuff tear but much osteo along with probable tissue trauma. It responded well to ibuprofen but once that wore off it made sleep not possible.
Fast forward two weeks and a week ago after the doc shot it up with cortisone I was riding mtn bikes in the smokies and back to work at home, etc..
 Yes it still hurts, I have an electronic muscle STEM gizmo that negates pain while I watch the evening news->which has no pain relievers I know of?  ;D

Chainsaws with spring loaded starting devices that are also light weight might be my next smart choice? Time will tell I guess but I don't think this shoulder will be what it once was, so I'm asking which saws out there have the power & weight aspects such as my MS241 Stihl but maybe more user friendly to my rt shoulder that pulls the cord?

 Saws like the small high powered Echo & Husky saws such as 543XP, etc. always caught my eye. 
Ideas? Thanks. 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 09:14:56 AM »
I have an easy start ms 250 c.  it was a saw I bought for my son, but now use it occ. and plan to get a carving bar, to try my hand at chainsaw carving. 
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 10:05:25 AM »
You might be a good candidate for a battery saw. You could also switch pulling arms. I'm right handed, but I pull start with my left. Just the way I started, and I kept up with it. Recoil's on the left, so left arm, right? Might feel especially strange for you since you've done right for, 50 years? But it's worth a shot.

Online Iwawoodwork

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2021, 10:20:32 AM »
I second the thought about a cordless (battery ) chainsaw, I have 2 Wen 40 volt and am impressed with how well they cut, and how long the battery's last.  There other battery saws that maybe better, higher Volts, more ma batteries, higher chain speed, etc,  but for the price it was the best for my part time use around the mill and property.  

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2021, 12:18:09 PM »
@lsxkllr How do you hold the saw? Trigger handle between the kness? Being left handed I had developed the habit of holding the big saws across my body pulling with my left until I cut my pany leg, no chain brakes in those days. Never did that again :o
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline HemlockKing

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2021, 12:21:40 PM »
I have an easy start ms 250 c.  it was a saw I bought for my son, but now use it occ. and plan to get a carving bar, to try my hand at chainsaw carving.
+1 on the ms250. Not a pro saw but Ive put probably 300
Hours on mine so far no problems and hoping for many more, I think the easy start would
Benefit you. I find it annoying because I dont need it but it really does make it easier for folks with shoulder problems 
Building the land of my dreams.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2021, 01:02:26 PM »
My bigger saws I first start on the ground textbook style. Bar's facing kinda right, foot in the handle, Right hand on the front handlebar, and pull with left hand. After the first start, I drop start them. Chainbrake on, right hand holding the front handlebar, pull with my left hand. My smaller saws I drop start from the start.

I also think I pull a little different than most by doing a strong pull, ease the cord back in, then another strong pull, as opposed to the quick pulls I think most people make. IOW, it seems like most people try to keep the piston going when they're pulling. The way I do it, the saw rests a second between pulls.

Offline gspren

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2021, 07:51:55 PM »
My only experience with battery saws is a "cheaper" GreenWorks with a 16" bar and it's actually impressive. Right now with the pain in my chest from my recent accident I'm not cutting but if I need to cut something out of my way it will be with the batt saw.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2021, 10:23:52 PM »
I had been wondering about battery saws for a few years now, and tried a couple owned by friends briefly. I have a bunch of Milwaukee M18 cordless tools, so when I tried a friend's Milwaukee M18 battery chainsaw and found it to be a decent saw, I started looking for deals on them.

I finally got one about a year or so ago. It cuts about like a decent 40 cc gas saw. With their 12 amp-hour battery, the battery will well outlast the bar oil in the tank, so I do have to keep an eye on that (using my 6 AH battery is a closer match). It's not particularly light, but it's handy - no starting issues and very quiet.  It is heavier than a good 40 cc saw, however.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2021, 08:32:07 AM »
I have an easy start ms 250 c.  it was a saw I bought for my son, but now use it occ. and plan to get a carving bar, to try my hand at chainsaw carving.
Chainsaw carving-> may have been invented by hand docs? as were string trimmers as well ;D
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2021, 08:33:18 AM »
You might be a good candidate for a battery saw. You could also switch pulling arms. I'm right handed, but I pull start with my left. Just the way I started, and I kept up with it. Recoil's on the left, so left arm, right? Might feel especially strange for you since you've done right for, 50 years? But it's worth a shot.
I  batted both sides so know it's possible-but hard to change. i cleaned out barn and my back pack blower I just tried a slow controlled pull which worked. It's a Stihl 4-mix engine so starts with slower pulls OK than a chainsaw.
 At this point I'm not real excited about going to a battery saw.   I have a kid coming today after school to shovel my shavings away-maybe he'll develop into a chainsaw operator but he's too young for now-legally. My shoulder doc says my best solutions involve hired helpers. I told him that I'm like his ball players from the U of KY and like being my own person. He's done tommy Johns on several MLB players from U of KY and lots of student athletes. Nother shot in Dec., yesterday I jointed and table saw straight lined 50 pcs of 10' 2x6's, so we'll see how this goes? 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline Don P

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2021, 08:45:17 AM »
Stop, clean and wax the planer more often, i can relate to exactly what you did to set it off, that'll get better when that pillow of inflammation works out.

On saws the battery ones work fair for what they are but 2 stroke still wins for power to weight and ultimate power. I get my partner to warm them up and do the real work :D.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline bannerd

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2021, 09:06:17 AM »
Uncle has the same issues, shoulders are just gone.  He cuts 200 cords a year and he's 81.. he has a massey tractor and runs a hydraulic saw off the aux.  I don't remember the brand name but I want to say the saw is only five pounds.

From what he said there is not kick back on those but he's snapped a few chains.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2021, 09:26:06 AM »
Stop, clean and wax the planer more often, i can relate to exactly what you did to set it off, that'll get better when that pillow of inflammation works out.

On saws the battery ones work fair for what they are but 2 stroke still wins for power to weight and ultimate power. I get my partner to warm them up and do the real work :D.
Before I began planing my pine: I cleaned all the feed rollers and beds. FWIW, I "did" machines for a living as an industrial millwright mechanic. Kinky boards-only a few- messed with my shoulder. I tried out a 14 yr old boy yesterday who says he's run a saw-he may just become my rope man!
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2021, 09:30:21 AM »
Some years ago, I was at a local garage sale and this lady and I are talking wood working as I'd bought an antique spool bed from her. She said you ought to talk to my daddy who worked in the woods when he was off his horse ridden mail route. He'd made rived strips for the old style tobacco baskets and sticks plus hewed ties-yuk-that's tough work huh? The specific subject was hickory bark for chairs which he also did. She sends me his way back up a holler and he's like 97 or 98 at the time. He'd been collecting bark and I asked him how he got his. He said he used an axe and a drawknife, no power saw. Climb the hills, chop em don't and peeled them. No chainsaws to worry over... ;D
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2021, 09:41:38 AM »
Weight wont be an issue, P I T A will ;D
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2021, 08:27:10 PM »
I would suggest an "elasto start " pull cord if they still make them .FWIW I only drop start small displacement top handle saws .In fact did same in a tree about three years ago  .Bad footing and even with the elasto popped   a shoulder out .Left side torn bicep ,right torn rotator . BTW I'm 73 and not half the man I used to be .Father time is a very cruel task master . 

Offline realzed

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2021, 09:10:23 PM »
I've had rotator cuffs done on both sides and find a 261CM fine for pulling.
I'm sure there are a lot better versions - but I did add a 'D' handle grip and found it makes pulling a lot better for arthritic old hands and fingers though!
I also found it to be a lot easier if I put the saw on the ground with my foot in the stirrup, often using the decomp to boot too if I feel weak - but I do still (or should that be Stihl  :D) use the 'between the legs' pull method occasionally when it is warmed up..
The 261 fires up pretty easy either way - but mostly I've found that the most successful and surefire way to get 'her going' is a short and quick style of pull verses a longer slower type..
I swear though that every saw has it's own personality and finding what works on one best, won't necessarily lead you finding out how or what the next saw will like..

Offline chet

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2021, 11:07:01 PM »
Uncle has the same issues, shoulders are just gone.  He cuts 200 cords a year and he's 81.. he has a massey tractor and runs a hydraulic saw off the aux.  I don't remember the brand name but I want to say the saw is only five pounds.

From what he said there is not kick back on those but he's snapped a few chains.
I ran hydraulic saws for many years. The attached hoses negate any advantage it has over a chain saw for ease of use. And in really cold weather they are down right horrible until and if the warm oil might soften the hoses up. In my opinion not worth the advantage of not having to pull a recoil.
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chainsaws for Bad Shoulders?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2021, 10:17:58 AM »
Al you must of been one hell of a man in your day, to still be even half that man.  I only have about 8 good pulls in me, then rest and cuss.  I think good fuel and oil mix and use the saws as often as you can goes a long ways.  i have a few I have to pick up and use although they may not be my favorite.  all the bigger saws have a comp. release.  I have a torn labrium... old sailing injury. :)
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor


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