mini-saw: vintage mccullough arborist's or 18V cordless Ryobi?

tinyfrogs(z8 NC)January 3, 2012

Please ignore this post if you don't want to read someone's deliberations on adding to his power tool collection.

I just spent two days heavily pruning pear trees, sometimes with minor climbing. I had hoped to pick up a used Echo pole saw for the job, but haven't seen one in 6 months. I used my Stihl 026, a Ryobi 18v cordless reciprocating saw, and hand tools.

Afterward, I spotted an arborist saw in the same rural flea market where I bought my Stihl 026. Way-vintage 10" Mccoullough Mini-something, with a chain brake, no plastic, $35. I was in a rush so I didn't check it out too closely before I left. I regretted that move, so just now I called to reserve it for pickup in 2 weeks. Supposedly it RUNS because it is being sold on consignment for a retired saw mechanic who fixed it for a no-show customer. Even if it didn't run or the oiler or brake is shot, I'd clean it up and put the cool little guy on the display shelf.

As a runner, would it have been useful for the pears and to keep in the truck for the times when I run in to a trail-blockers up to 12"? However, aren't top-control arborists saws more dangerous then normal rear-control saws? Will the thing leak gas and oil all over the back of the SUV? What about getting a 18v, 10" Ryobi electric saw, currently $70-80 new on eBay? I already have other tools with the same battery system. No engine to maintain and much quieter operation. A fully-charged battery might last for months as long as I don't leave the saw in the truck on hot days. Then again, it could be obsolete in 2 seconds.

I have no idea how these 10" saws compare in power or handling. Clearly, the most appropriate thing to do is to make a direct comparison as soon as I can afford both of them.

Anyone have experience with 10" vintage Mini Macs or Ryobi cordless electrics?

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I have an electric chain saw, a battery powered recip and a gas chain saw. I would not haul anybody's gas saw in the back of my SUV once it had been used even if they would give it to me. I like all my tools, but no gas tools are going into the passenger compartment I am in.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 4:40PM
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FWIW, I'm not familiar with "mini macs" but if you're talking about a vintage mcculloch we had a couple of them here on the farm. Great saws, took everything we could throw at them, but they were a major PITA to start, cold, hot, it didn't make any difference. Once running we kept them idling.

Personally I don't like cordless anything due to the batteries short service life and high replacement cost. I'd consider an electric chain saw and haul around a small gen set. That's essentially what I do only it's a hedge trimmer that I use to try to keep about a half mile of fence with honeysuckle "somewhat" under control. Different application, but for something you only use once a year or so....

Good luck,


    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Why not just buy new stihl arborist saw. it will start easy, won't leak for quit awhile and will last very long time. IMO you will spend about as much on replacement batteries for the cordless and of course the batteries wilt over 6 months or so. Let's face it unless you are diehard vintage fan and like to spend more time working on the saw starting it and maintaining it I just get new one and be done with it. I have three vintage saws 10" Lonbard little ligthing, Sears 10" er and 12" poulan #25. ever now and then I feel like old school and work them. When I need to get job done I use the late models I have just because they will start on the first pull and I don't have to maintain the chain nearly as much. Little lighting was the first saw I brought new 1971. $35 dollars sounds like good deal, but I bet you will be cussing on down the road.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:42PM
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