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Best chain/bar for cutting honey locust? (hard hardwood)

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by fsfcks, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. fsfcks

    fsfcks ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a fair number (more than 50) of honey locust trees plus some other hard hardwood type trees to cut down this summer. I've just found out that even green they tend to blunt chains very quickly.

    With a Dolmar 5100 what would be a good bar/chain combo to cut with? Also any specific bar or chain recommendations? The bar would probably be 16" max.

    I'm assuming a .325 bar would be better than 3/8ths bar to keep the speed up. But I'm not sure whether narrow-kerf would be better than standard (less power required but smaller cutters?). Also don't know if gauge would make a difference, even if anything other than .050 is available in .325. One supplier I looked at only have .325 .050 chain from Oregon and Carlton.

    What else should I be considering? I'd rather spend some money now to avoid many weekends of frustrating chain sharpening in a Kansas summer!!
     
  2. Brushwacker

    Brushwacker Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd prefer 3/8 pitch (which I find an 026 pulls well,) Stihl rm chain which withstands more sharpning then most .325. Semi chisel or RM is easiar to keep sharp.Any gauge 50 and up works well. Bars with a good reputation for being tough are Tsumara ( Baileys sells somE labled as Carlton) Cannon and Stihl bars have a good rep also( think you can get an adapter to use Stihl bars). Windsor bars have worked well for me and Oregon hasn't been bad. There are some bars that are cheaply made. Soft rails or poor construction in lamination is what I'd watch for. Post what you think you might buy or do a search to find out how it holds up.
    My experiance with narrow kerf several years ago was it was fragile in comparison to what I was used to.
     
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  3. pops21

    pops21 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Me and my dad just finshed cutting 3+ cords of locust. My oregon 3/8 Lp chisel stayed sharper, and cut faster then his low kickback .325 semi chisel chain. EVERYTHING I cut I use the non safty chisel chains. :chainsaw:
     
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  4. Darkness77

    Darkness77 ArboristSite Operative

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    ^Me too. I use 3/8 Stihl semi chisel on our jarrah which is very hard \. And all we cut is dry wood.
     
  5. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Sponsor

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    I have no problem with Stihl RSC in locust. Are you staying out of the dirt 100%?
     
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  6. Zodiac45

    Zodiac45 Paleostoveologist & Sawwhisperer

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    Gauge isn't going too make a bit of difference. How is the saw set up now?Your 5100 will pull an 18" bar well enough with 3/8th chain, but if your already set up for .325, then get a loop of RS or RSC and you'll be fine.
    The answer too your question in short is, A very sharp chain. No matter what you buy or do, hard wood will dull a chain relatively quickly. If you don't already have one, the money might be better spent on one of those Northern tool $100 clones of the Oregon chain grinder. As always use a light touch. :cheers:
     
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  7. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good post.
     
  8. fsfcks

    fsfcks ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks guys. The saw is still "new" (less than 20 tanks) so was running the Oregon 72V safety chain it came with. Although I sharpen it regularly (it always cut chips) being safety chain probably did not help. That and I'm still working on my sharpening technique, although its good enough for the softer wood.

    The saw currently runs a 16" 3/8ths .050 Oregon PowerMatch Plus bar. I've just recently got Oregon 72LGX and Stihl 33 RMC loops. Sounds like either will be considerably better. Based on your comments I'll stick with that and work on my sharpening. That would have more benefit than switching bars etc.
     
  9. teacherman

    teacherman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Wheee! Good ol' Kansas hardwood! Hedge is another good one, or "Osage Orange," as it officially known. Has anyone used carbide chain on these woods? I know they are chain-eaters, esp. hedge. The dust that blows into the bark doesn't help much, either.

    But these are the best firewoods for a cold winter!

    I imagine the PNW long bar setup would be less than ideal for clearing a hedgerow......unless of course it is the mighty 009, complete with the optional 25" bar, full wrap, big plastic dawgs....:clap:

    I removed a large locust a while back, the kind with the long bean pods, and the RM chain seemed to do well. I don't think that kind of locust is as hard as the honey locust, though....
     
  10. pops21

    pops21 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you do get a non safty chain ALWAYSE be sure to have GOOD hold on the saw. It WILL kick back easier.I found that out with my first non safty chain. After that I found to ALWAYSE keep my thumb wraped around the handle. Doing that helped me control the occasional kickback.
     
  11. Urbicide

    Urbicide Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Round chisel chain does not hold up nearly as well as semi chisel chain does. I have had good results with Woodsman Pro semi chisel chain from Bailey's. I run both .325 & 3/8 depending on which saw I am using. Locust is tough wood, especially if it is long dead. I occasionally will see sparks when cutting it. Makes great fence posts and firewood. If you don't want to stop and sharpen your chain on the saw then by all means buy a number of loops and change out as they become dull. Also make sure your oiler is putting out enough oil. You may have to turn it up a bit.

    I remember when I saw my first honey locust tree. I was thinking that if Steven King designed a tree that this would be it. Also noticed that there were no squirrels in it either.:D
     
  12. Andyshine77

    Andyshine77 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Stihls chain holds up better in hardwood than any other brand of chain I've used, and I've never had a problem running RSC in hardwood. Semi chisel chain will stay sharp longer than chisel chain, but I still prefer the speed of chisel chain.:)
     
  13. teacherman

    teacherman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Gosh, I wonder why.... I think those are called "cowboy killers," because of the toxins contained in the thorns, a guy could brush against one and be dead several days later from infection. That is what I've been told, no way of knowing if it is actually true. Not a fun tree to climb. haha

    Chain question: What is the difference betewn round chisel and semi-chisel chain? What is the name of Stihl semi-chisel?
     
  14. tree_beard

    tree_beard ArboristSite Operative

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    round chisel = 'full' chisel chain (ie not square chisel)
    semi chisel = even more rounded cutters than round chisel (holds an edge longer, cuts slower)
    chipper = really rounded chain (slow, oldschool...)

    Stihl RM (rapid micro) is semi-chisel
     
  15. Fastcast

    Fastcast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I hope not....Just got the hell poked out of me yesterday by one....:censored: :censored:
     
  16. teacherman

    teacherman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well, back in the old days it was different....a cut on the finger was actually dangerous!

    But you still dont want to mess with those locust thorns. Not fun.
     
  17. fsfcks

    fsfcks ArboristSite Operative

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    From some research Black locust is the poisonous one, Honey Locust is not meant to be poisonous however its thorns are bad enough. A few stories of people stuck by honey locust thorns: http://iowadiscgolf.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=148
     
  18. Fastcast

    Fastcast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't know what kind of locust it was....I was mowing the back trails and it was blown down by a storm (just a small one) and I jumped off the tractor (in a hurry of course) and reached down to drag it off the trail (ouch) didn't see the little spikes until they said hello. :censored:

    I think I'll survive....:givebeer:
     
  19. B_Turner

    B_Turner Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but I cut up a bit of dead black locust recently and ended up running square ground after starting with semi chisel. The square doesn't last quite as long due to the minerals, but it cuts so much faster and easier and cooler it is typically my first choice even with tough wood.

    The harder a wood, the more important a really sharp chain is.

    Running square, the trick is to swap out chains as soon as the edge goes as then touch ups on the grinder only take a few minutes. If you keep cutting once dulled, the edge and especially the point get hammered.
     
  20. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    I agree on Stihl chain, as they have thicker chrome than other brands - and would try both RSC and RMC.....:)
     

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