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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... how many fire departments use battery powered chainsaws, roof saws, demo saws, etc?

I know a lot have switched to battery powered jaws-of-life equipment (my department has begun using some).

Most of our apparatus has at least one of each - chainsaw, roof (ventiliation) saw, and demo saw (K12 type circular saw). All (except one) 2 stroke gas powered.

We have one battery powered K12 type saw. It is smaller than the traditional saws. Also, when people unfamiliar with it try to use it they inevitably push too had and jam/stop the blade, then complain about it. If you back off a bit and let it cut, it will go through almost any metal.

Also, too many of our members are not really familiar with gas powered saws, so inevitably (not all the time, just seems that way sometimes) they will flood them when trying to start them.

I was talking with someone about the saws, and he mentioned looking into battery saws. Realistically, for the amount we use them (especially the standard chain saws), that could solve a lot of the maintenance and use issues. They are usually smaller though, and in my experience have less power.

Anyone here use chainsaws / roof saws that are battery powered in firefighting? Your thoughts?
 

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Fightin' Fire
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We always ran a Cutters Edge with a carbide bullet chain on a roof. Those things ripped through anything. Stihls were ground work saws.
Part of the theory in battery saws is that they won't choke out in smoke environments. The battery saws, spreaders, and Cutters have a different feel to them. I like them and see it being the norm.
For the Cutters and Jaws the fact of not needing the power plant or hydraulic hoses is a huge plus.
Started using battery-powered vent fans as well.
From lighting to saws and everything in between it is the future of the modern FD's.
My department was in process of switching all things out to battery-powered. Not cheap especially when nothing was wrong with current equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, we've got 3 Cutter's Edge saws with the carbide bullet chain. They are great. I've talked to some people who have other roof saws with "carbide chains", and they say the work okay but not as good as the Cutter's Edge saws. Someone at my FD said Cutter's Edge is out of business?

Biggest issue with small motors is maintenance and use - or more precisely, lack of use. Some saws and tools will go months without being touched, and that isn't great for gas powered equipment. My FD switched all small engines to "Tool Fuel", which seems to have made a big difference - I haven't had to clean out a carburetor in a couple years.

Yes, I know, "officially" each and every piece of equipment at the FD should be checked and operated at least once a week, from halligan bars to the stokes basket on the end of the ladder truck. But I am talking real life, not NFPA heaven.

I'm going to start poking my nose around about getting a battery chainsaw and see how it works.
 

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Friends Call Me "Flash"
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The two four foot hinged doors on my barn gave up after 20 years. One of the local Overhead Door companies came out to install an 8 foot roll up door.

They had to full length rip some 2x6's for the sides and top of the new door. They whipped out a Makita battery powered circular saw (Skill saw type) and that little saw gobbled those 2x6's without even lugging down! I've never seen a battery powered saw do that!

Not sure what that saw cost, but when I find one, I'm gonna buy it!

Flash
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, the batteries (and tools) that have been coming out recently are pretty amazing.
 

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Looking at their web site, Cutters Edge appears to be up and running.

We have gone to battery powered PPV fans. I couldn't believe it when I saw them. Pretty cool, and we can plug them in as well. I believe battery powered extraction tools are on their way to us in the next year or so where I work. Waiting to see about battery chain saws. I love the newer NiCad tools, we will see where it goes from here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We've switched to all electric vent fans... We used to have 3 gas powered vent fans, those things were like hurricanes. The electric fans are okay, but I swear they don't have near the power of the gas powered ones - even though "on paper" the electric ones are supposed to be as powerful. And... our electric ones have to be plugged in. All of our apparatus now have a built in generator (except for our tanker) so we have electric on scene - except for the setup time required, and of course you have to be within cord length of the apparatus.

Of course, the gas fans would have be to started - which brings us back to the ease of using battery powered equipment.

Our existing electric fans should last us for years (decades more likely), but I wouldn't be surprised at all if we get battery ones in the future.
 

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Battery powered!!!!
When I left we still had one set of the original Hurst tools in our reserve rescue truck!!
 
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This year we purchased 2 of the DEWALT K12 type saws. I’ve not used one of them yet, but the blade is definitely smaller that my Pardner K12. I’d like to see the Milwaukee version, I hear it’s a 14”. We’ve had a couple of electric(corded) fans for years and still work fine.
 

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1911 lover
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Not a firefighter or ems.. but I have stihl pro gas chainsaws and last year spent several grand on milwaukee M18 tools.. impacts and chainsaws and leaf blowers and pole saws. I can say that the torque and reliability of M18 lithium stuff more than makes up for a little bit of speed. If you work with chainsaws you also know that serious chain makes a huge difference in performance.

My local fire dept EMS went to electric chainsaws several years ago. They run all new chains and every 18 months buy new batteries. The old batteries are still good, but why not take less potential problems. The milwaukee electric chainsaw is quite a machine. Brushless motors.. huge torque and zero start issues and no fumes.

If a fire dept wants to keep a huge pro stihl fuel injected chainsaw on a truck thats great.. but its heavy and still needs maintainance.
 

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The Milwaukee I was thinking of uses that new MX battery. I figure it’s a pretty bad sukka. My current vent saw has a huge Husky(575 maybe?) motor. It has tons of power, when it runs. That’s been the problem lately is keeping it running. We run it at least once per week, every week during weekly equipment checks.
 

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Mr. Awesome
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No longer a FF, but all of our stuff is still Stihl gas units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looking at their web site, Cutters Edge appears to be up and running.
....
From what I understand, "Cutter's Edge" was bought by "Truckman's Choice" sometime recently. Our newest "Cutter's Edge" saw is actually labeled "Truckman's Choice", and it is very obviously a Cutter's Edge design. I wouldn't be surprised if there are still new Cutter's Edge saws out there for sale... good thing about the new company is that it looks like all the replacement parts will be available for some time.

https://www.efesinc.com/products/truckmans-choice/
 
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