In the meantime, I've been extremely busy with lots of different things. One of those things has been cutting wood. Actually, it is the one thing that I really feel pressured about right now. We have had extraordinarily beautiful, dry fall weather--prime woodcutting days, really--and I wish that I could be spending more time on putting fuel by. However, the school is keeping me really busy substitute teaching, and I have discovered that I love it. I'm feeling very blessed that each day is now full of a variety of work that I truly enjoy.
Anyway, while I was cutting wood on Tuesday evening, I was thinking about the fact that I've been intending to write a post about chain saws for quite a while now. Though this is a blog about cooking on a woodburning cookstove, if the cookstove user is also the one in charge of procuring the fuel, it is most likely that a good chunk of his or her time is spent with a chain saw. In the twenty years that I have been heating and cooking with wood, I have cut the vast majority of that fuel myself, and even though the intricacies of the internal combustion engine remain a mystery to me, I do have one bit of sage advice about chain saws: spend a little extra money and buy a good one.
For the first several years of cutting firewood, I felt like I could only afford to buy low-cost chain saws. I won't share with you the brands that I purchased because this post isn't intended to be a bashing or an endorsement of any particular manufacturer. The bottom line is that when I was buying cheap saws, I was spending a lot of time putting slipped chains back on, replacing chains, or getting chains sharpened, and getting the saws to start became more and more difficult as the they aged. I was frequently taking saws to small engine shops to be repaired--and having to figure out how to get more wood cut in the meantime. Further, none of the saws lasted very long.
Then, while about the fifth saw that I owned was in the shop for an extended period, I decided to go ahead and buy a more expensive one. I purchased a Stihl saw from our local Bomgaars store. I paid roughly twice the price that I had been paying per cheap saw, but it has been one of the best investments I have ever made. I've lost track of how long I've had this saw now, but it has certainly needed fewer repairs than any of the previous saws, and it has actually saved me a large amount of money because it has lasted so much longer.
|My much used Stihl chain saw.|
Again, I'm sure there are other brands of saw that are quite good, and while I am extremely pleased with my Stihl, this is not an advertisement for them. My point is that it is poor economy for an avid woodstove user to purchase low-cost chain saws. In my opinion, they will take more of your money in the long run than a higher quality, more expensive chain saw.
Feel free to tell us which brand of chain saw you like the best in the comments section below.