Best Tool for Cutting Limbs

zone5shadeDecember 5, 2013

I often have tree branches that fall into my yard. It's a major pain having to break them down into sizes small enough for the city to pickup. What is the best tool for this job? I don't want to buy a chainsaw. I just want a hand tool that i can grab out of the shed when I need it. I already have a hand saw and it takes too long to make one lousy cut.

What do you recommend and why? Machete? Hatchet?

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A bow saw has much larger teeth and cuts much faster. A big lopper can handle the smaller stuff even faster than a bow saw. Some big loppers can lop green wood as thick as 3 inches.

I use both a 36-inch bow saw and a big 3-inch capacity lopper. However, I run my stuff through my MacKissic shredder-chipper rather than have it picked up.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 1:55PM
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What dia limbs? A good lopper or hand held pruning saw will do a good fast job on small dia limbs.

Why not a small 8-10" electric chainsaw? Approx how long does it take on the average job? I doubt you can beat the time a small chainsaw will take.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Zenman, you are so lucky to have a chipper. I would love to have one of those but my yard is a bit small for that level of awesome. I will have to take a look at those bow saws. 36â is pretty big. But if itâÂÂs getting the job done quickly and cheaply IâÂÂm all for it.

Loger, some of the limbs are 6â in diameter. A pruning saw sounds interesting too. I donâÂÂt know much about those. What diameter are those good for? As fun as an electric chainsaw would be IâÂÂm thinking of more low tech options. I donâÂÂt have electricity outside so every time I would want to cut IâÂÂd have to go get the extension cord and run it from the living room window. Plus I garden a lot in the early morning and I donâÂÂt want to wake the neighbors. For the most part I've been just stacking the branches in the corner and waiting for them to rot enough for me to break them into smaller chunks. Very unsightly! It's just a few branches at a time, but I'd like to have a good strategy to take care of them immediately.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 5:11PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

A shill saw works wonder around home and 100 ft. drop cord. i use mind in place cutting torch with cut off blade and carbide tooth blade.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 7:52PM
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If you have branches up to 6" I would highly recommend like others that you consider an electric chain saw. It is relatively inexpensive 50 to 60 dollars, It is light, and if careful can be used in one hand. It makes quick work of a bunch of small branches. However, I have used my 14" electric to take down many trees from 3 to 28".

You are thinking I will never need an electric to cut a tree that large. But we lost over 30 trees in my yard in hurricane Fran and the electric was up to the job. Most areas of the country experience strong winds that can bring down trees.

As for useability, you can place it in storage for a year or more, take it out, check the chain oil, and plug it in, cut what ever is needed, and return to storage and forget it.

I bought mine nearly 20 years ago and it works as well to day as it did when I bought it. The only expense has been a couple of chains for about $15.

The biggest draw back to an electic is the cord, but from what I am hearing you have a relative small yard where everything is less that 200 feet from the house, which is ideal for an electric saw

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:24PM
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txtom50(8a texas)

I'd suggest a bow saw if you want to try something that's inexpensive and easy to use and maintain. If it doesn't get the job done, you're only out about $10 - plus they're handy for other things like tree pruning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiskars 21 in. Bow Pruning Saw

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:53AM
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