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Thread: Harbor Freight electric chainsaw

  1. #1
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    Harbor Freight electric chainsaw

    It pains me to recommend buying from them but Harbor Freight has a pretty fair deal on a fairly good little electric chainsaw. Handy for resawing in the shop and for trim work if you have a long enough extension cord or a generator. Anyway, 14" Oregon brand bar and chain means they should be readily available at big boxes and on the internet even if there are only about three teeth to the foot on the chain. Cuts green wood OK although you have to just let it work at it's own pace, doubt you can bear down on it. I have been cutting up wet 10"-12" cherry logs with it with no problems.

    The saving graces are simple. It is now, I believe, and has been on sale for around $50-$55 dollars. Add ten bucks for a two year guarantee and taxes, keep your paperwork in a safe place, and you have a two year chainsaw that doesn't make a bunch of noise or fumes for under seventy-five dollars. The best part of the deal for me is the extended warrantee, I have never been impressed with electric chain saws. I have to say that the Central Electric tools I have bought in the past held up decently. Maybe I will go over to the chainsaw forum and look for a bar and chain. Just joking, I'm sure this thing doesn't have the beef to pull a more aggressive chain and it seems like it goes through the 10"-12" log in less than two minutes, didn't actually put a clock on it.

    Hu

  2. #2
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    Nice review Hu
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    It pains me to recommend buying from them but Harbor Freight...
    I think the general consensus around here is that Harbor Freight does have a few diamonds among the coal. Good to see a review of another one.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a deal!

    I have two electric chainsaws, on inexpensive Makita that does a good job, but I know when I push it I can feel the whole plastic body of the thing flex and the other a used Shindaiwa monster I bought that runs a 50cm bar and really cuts wood. Nothing is as fast as a good gas saw, but the whole no fumes, noise and gas etc is a plus using it near the house or in the garage. Living in Tokyo I think it makes sense to own one for sure. The biggest thing is to let the saw work at it's own pace (sound like you got that one figured out!) and you have to keep that chain sharp, like really sharp. Learn how to file your own chain, it does not take long, buy good chainsaw files, not just round files, only buy the Swiss files, they seem to work the best.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Sounds like a deal!

    I have two electric chainsaws, on inexpensive Makita that does a good job, but I know when I push it I can feel the whole plastic body of the thing flex and the other a used Shindaiwa monster I bought that runs a 50cm bar and really cuts wood. Nothing is as fast as a good gas saw, but the whole no fumes, noise and gas etc is a plus using it near the house or in the garage. Living in Tokyo I think it makes sense to own one for sure. The biggest thing is to let the saw work at it's own pace (sound like you got that one figured out!) and you have to keep that chain sharp, like really sharp. Learn how to file your own chain, it does not take long, buy good chainsaw files, not just round files, only buy the Swiss files, they seem to work the best.

    Stuart,

    I have a plan "B" on the sharpening, my brother has a grinder and I am the only one that has ever used it. Before they jammed some electronics in my side I liked working with a good commercial grade chainsaw. Gas saws without dogs and with the no kick consumer teeth are about halfway in between the little electric saws I have ran and the commercial saws. Of course they are a ton safer than the commercial saws which will kick back in a heartbeat if you use them wrong.

    Just for future reference, do they make a mighty Shindiawa that runs on 110 volts? I did find a 100 volt DC cordless saw here but the saw was the cheapest thing if I remember right. The batteries and charger cost a fortune.

    Hu

  6. #6
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    Heck, I'm no HF snob. Sometimes for tools you don't plan to use a lot, it's a good economical choice. I've got a big honking drill I bought from them to use for mixing mortar. No need for a high priced tool for that job.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Heck, I'm no HF snob. Sometimes for tools you don't plan to use a lot, it's a good economical choice. I've got a big honking drill I bought from them to use for mixing mortar. No need for a high priced tool for that job.
    I'm not exactly a snob, more a matter of where I care to send my money. Too, I have been buying some things there for a lot of years. The quality of much of their stuff is lousy and often the price isn't great anymore. Some things like the Central Electric tools have held up well. I bought a half-dozen of their 4.5" grinders years ago figuring they were throwaways and I think they are all still ginning, well most bit the dust a few months ago when hurricane Isaac put almost two feet of water in my shop but the high dollar stuff drowned just the same as the cheap stuff did.

    Like you I tend to buy my use a little stuff there and the stuff I am going to abuse or at least use for rough work. I buy leather work gloves there and wear out a pair in one long day. I used to get far better gloves but these days you sometimes pay the price for quality and get the same gloves and other items that Harbor freight sells for a fraction of the price. Sometimes I am frustrated that I can't find a quality made item at any price and buy at Harbor Freight or WalMart just because it doesn't make sense to pay three times as much for basically the same thing. Yeah, before anybody has to ask, I am an unWalMart fan too after they decided to source everything they can offshore after Sam left. Speaking of which, WalMart has a twelve pack of the foam brushes for $1.50. I was out of glue and looking for a larger container of CA. The brushes for less than fifteen cents apiece are crap but I painted old latex on the ends of logs with one and have done a few other tasks with them. I'll probably buy a few more bags of them sometime, cheaper than rags. I wouldn't recommend them for finishing anything, the foam brushes tend to melt or tear little pieces off into your work.

    Hu

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    Stuart,

    I have a plan "B" on the sharpening, my brother has a grinder and I am the only one that has ever used it. Before they jammed some electronics in my side I liked working with a good commercial grade chainsaw. Gas saws without dogs and with the no kick consumer teeth are about halfway in between the little electric saws I have ran and the commercial saws. Of course they are a ton safer than the commercial saws which will kick back in a heartbeat if you use them wrong.

    Just for future reference, do they make a mighty Shindiawa that runs on 110 volts? I did find a 100 volt DC cordless saw here but the saw was the cheapest thing if I remember right. The batteries and charger cost a fortune.

    Hu
    Personally I don't like grinders, I think they take off way too much metal. in the field I just touch up with a file, freehand, but when I get home or if I do something stupid like hit a rock I will dig out my sharpening jig, it works great.

    Yes my Shindaiwa is 100V.....




    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Stuart,

    I don't remember rather it was an educated elbow or the set-up but I was able to just kiss each tooth, pretty sure it was an educated elbow when I think about it. Saw shops tend to take an aggressive grind against a stop on each tooth, enough to clean up the worst teeth, to save time. Could be something to do with many of them sell chains too!

    That saw does look like a beast as electric saws go. I'm good with 50-60 hertz, it shouldn't mind overdriving it 20% on the voltage, maybe I will have to try to find one gray market after I take care of forty-three more pressing needs. That one looks like I might be able to put a real chain on it. I was a little disappointed in one thing, 7.5 MPS. First thought to flash through my mind; holy moly, 7.5 miles per second, that is serious speed! Second thought, "Meters dummy, meters." Oh well that ain't shabby either. Would have probably melted the bar and chain at 7.5 miles an hour anyway. When we were kids we used to have some little matchbox sized slot cars that ran on an electric track with a transformer. When the parents weren't home at night we occasionally hooked up straight 110V to the rails and dropped one of the little cars on it. One screaming run in a straight line so many sparks flying everywhere they lit up the room as the motor melted into slag. I kinda envisioned the same thing with a chain saw for a second there.

    Hu

  10. #10
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    This is very painful to say

    I got a significant hardware and firmware upgrade one week ago today. With better shielding of the unit in my side I can now run gas chainsaws and several other things I have been restricted from. I own two and a half welders and have been restricted from welding for almost six years!

    I got an almost new little 35cc McCulloch chainsaw in the deal when I bought out half a woodworking shop. One week since the little surgery, I scored some fair sized chunks of oak from my nephew and hurried out to fire up the McCulloch to whittle the oak up. The chain is in decent shape but this saw didn't do much more than make noise.

    After awhile I moved my truck in range of an extension cord and gave the harbor fright machine a try. After cutting the remainder of a piece I tried with the gas saw and making another cut sixteen inches away, no doubt about it, the electric saw cuts better!

    I had a 35cc McCulloch before they disappeared and came back and cut down over a dozen 16 to 24 inch trees with it and cut them up along with countless other trees and lots of trimming. This ain't the same beast at all.

    Looks like time to start building a chainsaw fund!

    Hu

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