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What kind of saw for prepping wood?

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    What kind of saw for prepping wood?

    So I've got a good bit of seasoned oak in splits, ready to feed my hungry KBQ. Only problem is, they need to be cut to the prescribed, approximately Red Bull can-length pieces. I've been using a reciprocating saw, but it's not the right tool for the job.

    What kind of saw do folks use to cut their splits? Caveat is, I'm not "handy" and whatever saw I purchase, will be mostly just for this one task. So I'm hoping to keep the price as low as possible. Miter saw? Table saw?

    #2
    I would get a small {7¼") miter saw like this:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/power-...saw-57174.html

    Or this:

    RYOBI 7-1/4 in. Compound Miter Saw
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-7-...1144/306939256
    SKU# 306939256

    Last edited by Dewesq55; July 11, 2021, 12:26 PM.

    Comment


    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      I would never use a chopsaw (mitre saw) for cutting rough splits of wood. This is a really bad, really dangerous idea.

    • PaynTrain
      PaynTrain commented
      Editing a comment
      I had a 10" Milwaukee bit and the blade split. Super scary! I am no longer in the miter saw camp, and have built a chainsaw chopper rig. Works well.

    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey, I could be wrong. Just because it's what I would do, doesn't make it right, or safe.

    #3
    vtkess02 Black & Decker Alligator saws. When I purchased mine, they only offered corded. Now they have lithium battery powered as well. A piece of gun metal broke once, I was able to order the part, and be more careful about not jamming the blades into the concrete sidewalk. These are so much safer than trying to hold a small piece of wood while sawing. The jaws hold the wood.

    https://www.blackanddecker.com/searc...lligator/-/-/-

    You tube videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...gator+chainsaw

    And, there's this one as well by Worx:
    Another Youtube link so you can see what folks think, how it's used. I have both, since after buying the corded B&D I needed something I could use away from an outlet. At that time, B&D didn't offer a lithium solution. Now they do.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...gator+chainsaw


    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      See, there you guys go again. Now I want a KBQ just so I can get one of these things.

    • vtkess02
      vtkess02 commented
      Editing a comment
      Do it. DOOO IT.

    #4
    For cutting to length (assuming you’ve split to under 4”) the works jawsaw is what I use. You can cut them right on the ground and not worry about grounding the blade.
    I presume the alligator saw above would work as well.

    of course it’s great for trimming branches etc also.

    assuming you want portability, otherwise a small mitre saw would be fine.

    Comment


    • Dr. Pepper
      Dr. Pepper commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree that the Worx is nice in allowing you to simply push downward on the split or branch you are cutting, while it rests on the ground. With the B&D I prop the splits/branches against a concrete step.

    #5
    Thanks all for the responses. It seems to me like a miter saw might work best as its stable and I don't have to worry about propping the split up on anything. But the thing about the alligator saw is that I could see myself using it for other things - fallen branches and whatnot. Plus it just looks like fun.

    Comment


      #6
      Chopsaw

      Comment


      • kjbarth
        kjbarth commented
        Editing a comment
        +1

      #7
      I have used a mitre saw. As long as you are very careful it works fine. Cutting slow is key and hold tight. And cut SLOW. The mitre saw is designed to cut milled lumber, cutting round and odd shaped wood means having to freehand. When it jams it can get hairy.

      My latest toy for the orchard is a Miwaulkee Hackzall with a pruning blade and has quickly become my tool of choice. I can use one hand to firmly hold one end of a branch while the other hand holds the saw. I would hold the split firmly on the end of a table and make the cut beyond the edge of the table. It is a one handed reciprocating saw, so you will have the associated vibration. But you won't be risking having pieces fly at you or your hand pulled towards a blade.

      Comment


      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm a Milwaukee guy and I found this on their site, not cheap, but a nice tool no doubt: https://www.milwaukeetool.com/produc...ssions/2527-21

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        CaptainMike I would never want to use a chopsaw or skilsaw for this. A sawzall would be okay, but tiring.

      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        CaptainMike Thanks for being more direct than I. It is dangerous and risky. Truth be told, I do use one for prepping my KBQ wood and have had pieces ripped out of my hand and violent kickbacks. The Hackzall is a welcome addition, and thanks for the link, that 'Hatchet' looks interesting. Too bad it doesn't use M18, I'm trying to stick to one type battery!

      #8
      I would not use a chop saw unless you are very confident in your skills. If it were me, I'd try a blade like this in the Sawzall and see if it doesn't work better for you. If that doesn't do it, then a small chain saw will be the right tool for the job.

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        vtkess02 a wood blade for a sawzall makes all the difference. I use my Ryobi for pruning big limbs, no issue at alll with the right blade.

      • willxfmr
        willxfmr commented
        Editing a comment
        vtkess02 YES! The right blade for the job makes all the difference in the world. This blade will cut 3-4 times faster than a regular wood cutting blade. It would be lousy for anything but the roughest of cuts, but for your task, it's the right choice.

      • vtkess02
        vtkess02 commented
        Editing a comment
        I've got a wood blade on my Milwaukee reciprocating saw. Works better than the regular blade, but still a lot of work especially cutting the rough splits

      #9
      Boy, I understand it is fun to work with a real man's tools, but the alligator type saws are so safe it's ridiculous. I can chop up my splits into the correct size quickly, and anywhere (garden, field, patio, sidewalk.)

      Comment


      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        I was stopped from the negative reviews. But yeah, if they work they seem idiot proof. I tend to avoid B&D though, they are for light use. If Stihl would make a hand held saw like the one they have on the end of my pole saw https://www.stihlusa.com/products/po...131polepruner/ I'd be right on it.

      • Dr. Pepper
        Dr. Pepper commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep. I've got the Stihl battery extendable pole pruner, and it would be nice to have a short version. I agree the B&D is cheap, but it is also cheap to replace.

      • Murdy
        Murdy commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a B & D polesaw. Wish I would have spent the extra $$ and got the Stihl gas one. Buy once, cry once. It feels like its falling apart and I'm sure I'll be replacing it someday (guess it's still functional for now, though).

      #10
      I really like that alligator saw. I have multiple chop saws, reciprocating saws, table saws, circular saws, and a large band saw, and none of them are super good at sawing splits, some are even quite dangerous, especially to those with limited experience. The best I have at it are a circ. saw and the band saw, but splits are hard on blades and will still pinch and kick back if not handled properly.

      I think I'm going to get one of those gator saws, most likely the worx, and just dedicate it to splits.
      Last edited by CaptainMike; July 11, 2021, 05:26 PM.

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Totally agreed …. Typical construction stuff, like skilsaw, mitre, band saw, table saw, are all intended for already milled and uniform lumber. If you don’t know what you are doing, you are asking for trouble with rough hunks of wood.

      #11
      Spinaker

      Comment


        #12
        The worx jaw saw can be put directly over the log/split and the nose of the mouth on the ground. When you run it, the saw pulls the split up into the jaws and cuts it cleanly. All the pressure you have to apply is leaning on the handle and pushing toward the ground. And the saw only runs inside the jaws and can’t reach the ground. Couldn’t be easier or safer especially for cleaning up a bunch of small branches.

        yeah the build quality on these isn’t great but…a lot easier and smoother than a recip or chop saw. And battery powered so it can be taken to site.

        Comment


        • Dr. Pepper
          Dr. Pepper commented
          Editing a comment
          Sí, ¡exactamente!
          Das stimt!

        #13
        I use my Dewalt miter saw and have only come close to losing a finger once. Go slow!

        Comment


        • Dr. Pepper
          Dr. Pepper commented
          Editing a comment
          As a (retired) surgeon, who has seen too many saw-induced finger separations from the rest of the human body, I say use an alligator-type saw. But, since I am retired, I won't have to come in on a 4th of July weekend to attempt to salvage someone's digit, so, go for it!

        #14
        Todays haul Macademia that had been felled for 18 months. Going to use an electric chainsaw for all this.
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #15
          For the situation that the OP is talking about -- short "Red Bull can" lengths of irregular wood -- I have to say I would not use a miter saw. Someone else mentioned a table saw, and I wouldn't use that either for the same reasons.

          That said, I do use a chop/miter saw to cut small limbs into kindling, but with some caveats --

          Cutting irregular wood like this is at a much higher risk for kick back, as others are pointing out. You absolutely do not want your hands to get anywhere near the blade. I stick to pieces no shorter than about 18 inches / 45 cm long.

          Also, the wood must be tight against the fence at the point where the blade goes through the wood. If there's any gap between wood and fence at this point, it's very likely to pinch the blade and kick back. That's a no-go. Find another way to do the cut.

          Another safety tip for a higher risk cut is to hold the blade down after the cut is complete, stop the saw, and wait for the blade to stop moving before raising the blade. In other words, don't raise the blade back through the cut while the blade is rotating.

          Comment


          • ComfortablyNumb
            ComfortablyNumb commented
            Editing a comment
            Good points, but when I was cutting apple branches for the KBQ it wasn't always possible to get the branch against the fence due to twists and turns in the branch. So I would have to hold it down firmly.

            The key to it, and I'm not endorsing it by all means, it is very risky, is to cut SLOW. Trying to go fast, or even moderately, is asking for trouble. And never try to force the blade through. Unless you want to see a piece of wood fly, your hand pulled wherever, and a mitre/chop saw buck.

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