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Author Topic: Sissy saw recommendations  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline squarpeg

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Sissy saw recommendations
« on: September 11, 2021, 10:10:17 PM »
I am working on clearing 3 acres of land. Mostly hemlock and pine with a million branches on each tree. I have been using my regular saw I use for fire wood and felling. It is a Stihl 026. Now this is a great saw, and not too heavy. However, I am in my 60's now and I have to admit after about 3 hrs limbing with it, I am beat. Been thinking about what the perfect "old person" limbing saw might be? Something with a long bar so I do not have to be bent over all day, something super light. Rarely am I cutting more then a 3 inch thick branch, but there is literally a 100+ branches on each tree... Anyone offer recommendation on a lighter saw? 

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 10:25:41 PM »
Light saw or long bar - pick one.  Tough to find a light saw with a long bar. 

I use a ms170 for limbing. Its light and comes with a 14 bar (maybe 16). Its just a cheap clamshell saw - really cheap but does amazingly well.  There are plenty of light saws and you can either go with a pro saw or a homeowner saw like this one.  None of them that i know of will run a long bar though.

There are some threads on here about making a delimber out of a wheel rim you may want to check out. Takes the pain and time out of limbing conifers. 

Limbing is tedious and time consuming. Good luck with the quest.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 10:31:10 PM »
My echo cs400(40cc) is pretty light, and it comes with an 18" bar standard. I typically use a 16" on it, but it handles the 18" fine, and it you're really only doing stuff in the 3" range, I bet a 20" would work ok, but it might throw the balance off too badly.

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2021, 10:33:15 PM »
HM126

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2021, 11:30:35 PM »
Same concept as a limbing gate used with SYP, only you park the gate and back the twitch into it with the skidder.  Makes life a lot easier.  
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2021, 11:39:34 PM »
I am working on clearing 3 acres of land. Mostly hemlock and pine with a million branches on each tree. I have been using my regular saw I use for fire wood and felling. It is a Stihl 026. Now this is a great saw, and not too heavy. However, I am in my 60's now and I have to admit after about 3 hrs limbing with it, I am beat. Been thinking about what the perfect "old person" limbing saw might be? Something with a long bar so I do not have to be bent over all day, something super light. Rarely am I cutting more then a 3 inch thick branch, but there is literally a 100+ branches on each tree... Anyone offer recommendation on a lighter saw?
Not a "long" bar, but on a long pole. 7' non-telescoping battery pole saw for limbing the standing trees.
Use the Stihl HTA 65 cordless and find it works great for pruning, limbing, brush cutting, with some obvious limitations. But can prune trees up to 12' without much problem.  Pruned several hundred spruce trees using the cordless and the extra reach worked really great. Didn't have to fight through the limbs to get up close.


If limbing a felled tree, use my Stihl MS261 c-m with 18" bar or the Stihl MS362 with 20" bar.
At 82, am 5 years past that age when I cut for 3 hours straight. It catches up over time.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2021, 09:55:24 AM »
Well being 73 all I'll say is you have to learn how to rest a bit from time to time .If three hours is enough why worry, it will still be there tomorrow .As far as saw size I have an 024 Stihl which might be at best a pound lighter than an 026 and with a 16" bar but for my age I'm still limber and can bend .

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2021, 10:33:15 AM »
I am working on clearing 3 acres of land. Mostly hemlock and pine with a million branches on each tree. I have been using my regular saw I use for fire wood and felling. It is a Stihl 026. Now this is a great saw, and not too heavy. However, I am in my 60's now and I have to admit after about 3 hrs limbing with it, I am beat. Been thinking about what the perfect "old person" limbing saw might be? Something with a long bar so I do not have to be bent over all day, something super light. Rarely am I cutting more then a 3 inch thick branch, but there is literally a 100+ branches on each tree... Anyone offer recommendation on a lighter saw?
I would advise to use the Scandinavian short bar bench limbing method with your conifers.
When I work in alot of spruce I use either a 550XP or MS261 with a 14" b/c.

You don't need a long bar when the trunk of your trees are at knee to waist height when laying on the ground. Unless you're back blading the limbs with a skidder.


Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline HemlockKing

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2021, 10:40:39 AM »
Ms170 16 inch mini rollomatic bar. About the lightest you can get while still being able to take down a 12 inch tree(although not fun)
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Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2021, 11:17:54 AM »
I have mentioned on this forum before that the best small saw I have owned is my Echo 370 with a 16" bar. Light, well balanced, easy start, and enough power to both fall and limb. Used in both tough old juniper and Doug fir, I also have 023 & 029 Stihl, 2 small 245? Huskys and a small Remington and a couple 62cc chinese and the Echo 370 is the best for me.

Offline squarpeg

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2021, 11:27:40 AM »
I am working on clearing 3 acres of land. Mostly hemlock and pine with a million branches on each tree. I have been using my regular saw I use for fire wood and felling. It is a Stihl 026. Now this is a great saw, and not too heavy. However, I am in my 60's now and I have to admit after about 3 hrs limbing with it, I am beat. Been thinking about what the perfect "old person" limbing saw might be? Something with a long bar so I do not have to be bent over all day, something super light. Rarely am I cutting more then a 3 inch thick branch, but there is literally a 100+ branches on each tree... Anyone offer recommendation on a lighter saw?
I would advise to use the Scandinavian short bar bench limbing method with your conifers.
When I work in alot of spruce I use either a 550XP or MS261 with a 14" b/c.

You don't need a long bar when the trunk of your trees are at knee to waist height when laying on the ground. Unless you're back blading the limbs with a skidder.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That is true if the tree is up off the ground. These are 60-70ft trees. How is it you are working on them off the ground?

Offline John Mc

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2021, 08:00:59 PM »
I am working on clearing 3 acres of land. Mostly hemlock and pine with a million branches on each tree. I have been using my regular saw I use for fire wood and felling. It is a Stihl 026. Now this is a great saw, and not too heavy. However, I am in my 60's now and I have to admit after about 3 hrs limbing with it, I am beat. Been thinking about what the perfect "old person" limbing saw might be? Something with a long bar so I do not have to be bent over all day, something super light. Rarely am I cutting more then a 3 inch thick branch, but there is literally a 100+ branches on each tree... Anyone offer recommendation on a lighter saw?
I would advise to use the Scandinavian short bar bench limbing method with your conifers.
When I work in alot of spruce I use either a 550XP or MS261 with a 14" b/c.

You don't need a long bar when the trunk of your trees are at knee to waist height when laying on the ground. Unless you're back blading the limbs with a skidder.
I don't work with softwoods all that much, but when I do, I use that technique. It works well. And it's not just the height. There are lots of good tips in that technique to minimize the need to carry the saw's weight.

For me, using a longer bar for limbing is a disadvantage. You are working at the wrong end of a longer lever. I use a 16" bar, and only reach with the tip of the bar when there is no other way. If I can't set the trees to be limbed up on a "bench", I lower myself with my legs, rather than bending at the waist (My physical therapist wife is always on me about using good body mechanics, which includes using my leg to lower, and working in close to my body whenever it is safe to do so, rather than reaching out.)

Here's a video of Soren Erickson demonstrating and explaining it:

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline squarpeg

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2021, 09:45:55 PM »
Wow, this is mind blowing. Ok I see. That guy has my exact saw and similar trees. I have never seen this technique. Very , very interesting. I will most certainly try this. Thanks for that. 

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2021, 08:05:03 AM »
Wow, this is mind blowing. Ok I see. That guy has my exact saw and similar trees. I have never seen this technique. Very , very interesting. I will most certainly try this. Thanks for that.
When you really get the technique down, it's quite a back saver. Limbing especially used to aggravate an old wrestling injury in my neck and upper back. Reaching out and/or cutting with the tip made things worse. Following these techniques have greatly reduced the need to bug my wife to fix me or for making trips to the chiropractor. As a bonus, I'm not nearly as tired at the end of the day.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2021, 09:56:51 AM »
In that mid 1980's video Soren is running a 034AV.
Great instructor who went on to train for Husqvarna.  In his younger logging days he was a semi professional boxer.
He credits alot of his knowledge he acquired through some of his students who were also pro loggers.
Soren passed away about 5 years ago at age 77.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2021, 10:22:11 AM »
Wow, this is mind blowing. Ok I see. That guy has my exact saw and similar trees. I have never seen this technique. Very , very interesting. I will most certainly try this. Thanks for that.
Soren was a pro logger and other things that had learned the trade from pros then thought about what he was doing and how he was doing it. Over time he developed new techniques based on old techniques with some greater level of refinement. More importantly he found simple ways to teach these things in an accurate manner. 
 I saw this video 5 or 6 years ago and although I don't cut many softwoods, I use this technique if for no other reason than it saves me some muscle usage. Certainly I am no where near as fluent as him as I walk the tree, but the idea works. You have to start slow because as you get going you begin to use the refence point of the bar against the tree instead of where the bar tip is. Resist the urge to reach too far over the tree to get those branches at the 4 o'clock position when you are on the 9 o'clock side. Keep track of that bar tip as you get comfortable. It's a good technique as well as many others Soren gave us.
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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2021, 01:49:55 PM »
I bought my dad, who is in his 70's, the lightest pro saw stihl makes...a ms151TC.  It's around 5lbs.  He loves it, especially after having shoulder surgery 6 years ago..  

He loves that he can work a saw again.  

I cut down and buck up the wood.  He limbs and picks up the rounds in the tractor bucket.  It's a good tag team. 

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2021, 02:19:38 PM »
I do a lot of work, and actually like the little 180.  I don't have any problems with the built-in chain tightener, and don't ever remember wishing it had a couple of nuts that need a wrench.

I could do without the easy start thing, but it's certainly not hard to use.  You don't have to jerk it, or pull hard on it, but just pull it a few times until it starts on its own.  I pull it a few times until I feel the spring load up, pull it until I feel a little resistance, and a quick, short pull cranks it right up.

I think I've worn out three chains on the current one, and I swear it seems like it's stronger than ever.

It's supposed to have a little more power than a 170, for about the same weight.  I've only run a 170 once, and that belonged to a friend who has to get someone else to sharpen his chains, but it did make me like my little saw a lot better.


 

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2021, 08:40:48 PM »
Wow, this is mind blowing. Ok I see. That guy has my exact saw and similar trees. I have never seen this technique. Very , very interesting. I will most certainly try this. Thanks for that.
Soren was a pro logger and other things that had learned the trade from pros then thought about what he was doing and how he was doing it. Over time he developed new techniques based on old techniques with some greater level of refinement. More importantly he found simple ways to teach these things in an accurate manner.
 I saw this video 5 or 6 years ago and although I don't cut many softwoods, I use this technique if for no other reason than it saves me some muscle usage. Certainly I am no where near as fluent as him as I walk the tree, but the idea works. You have to start slow because as you get going you begin to use the refence point of the bar against the tree instead of where the bar tip is. Resist the urge to reach too far over the tree to get those branches at the 4 o'clock position when you are on the 9 o'clock side. Keep track of that bar tip as you get comfortable. It's a good technique as well as many others Soren gave us.
I got a Soren Ericsson 4 VCR cassette training library that I've had for over 30 years. Ones I copied off the original Stihl videos.
I'm missing the clearing saw video at the moment, I loaned it out to another training instructor and he claims he lost it somewhere in his house.

I just sent him a text for a reminder to keep looking for it.
It was a great video on clearing saw use and maintenance.


Making a living with a saw since age 16.

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Re: Sissy saw recommendations
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2021, 09:19:15 PM »
I use my little Echo 2511T for a lot of limbing jobs.  It's powerhead weighs a little over 5 pounds and seems to have a lot of power and speed in a small package.  I have the 14" bar on it and bending over with it isn't such a problem with a light saw like this.  There is a rear handled version of these now too, but I haven't had the chance to try one yet.

I'd rather use a light saw setup, instead of a long bar that seems to be clumsy to move around. 


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