This Article is About
amateur gardener
trees and shrubs
cordless chainsaw
muscle power
physical effort
Cordless Chainsaws - Can They Cut It?
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There is a new generation of Cordless Power Tools hitting the marketplace.

One of these is the new Cordless Chainsaw from Bosch. The 36 Volt Bosch AKE 30 LI

But can a Battery Powered Chainsaw really cut the mustard - or those big branches?

If you are a keen amateur gardener or even perhaps a professional gardener, you will no doubt know only too well just how much work can be involved in trimming branches from overgrown trees and shrubs.

It is a gardening chore that needs to done on a regular basis if the garden isn't to turn into something resembling a rain forest!

Twigs and small branches can be trimmed with secateurs. Long handled loppers can deal with branches up to an inch or so in diameter. Some well designed long-handled loppers can be very effective but others can demand a lot of muscle power on the part of the gardener.

Any branches over, say, an inch and a quarter will probably need to be sawn, rather than cut. For this sort of job a bow saw can be ideal, although it will need a lot of physical effort.

Sawing more than a few branches soon becomes rather tiring and you will probably end the day with aching shoulders and arms.

Safety is another consideration here too, particularly if working above ground on steps or a ladder. The fact that a bow saw requires you to hold the branch being cut whilst sawing means that you won't be able to hold onto the steps or ladder. The effort of sawing can easily make your working platform wobble and become unsteady. Trying to keep safe on steps and sawing can make the whole job so much harder and tiring.

Chainsaws are ideal for this sort of task.

The require no sawing action from the user and will get the job done in a fraction of the time. They saw through large branches easily and with little effort needed by the user. So you shouldn't be swaying about on those steps as you would if you were sawing manually.

They can, however, be dangerous machines to use so do please make sure you work safely and use the correct safety work clothes. A hard hat with an integral visor, heavy-duty work gloves and ear defenders at a minimum should always be used. Good sturdy footwear and suitable working clothes will also help keep you safe.

Chainsaws for use in the garden fall into three categories.

Petrol (gas in the US) powered Mains electric or cordless Battery powered.

Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Gas or Petrol powered chainsaws.

These tend to big, heavy and very noisy. Think lumberjacks cutting down big trees! Smaller versions are made for the home market and these are much smaller but still very capable. They are however still heavy and noisy. They also need to be refilled with petrol or gasoline which is a potentially dangerous procedure. Fuel needs to be purchased on a frequent basis and kept safe and ready for use.

Mains electric chainsaws present different problems.

In the UK mains voltage is 240 volts so having leads carrying that sort of voltage in a possibly wet garden can be very dangerous. Many accidents have occurred where mains leads have been hastily repaired with electrical insulating tape. In fact I saw a neighbour using a hedge trimmer just the other day and guess what? The power lead was repaired with insulating tape! In the wet that could prove deadly. I will have a word about it with him as soon as I get the opportunity and hopefully, before it rains!

Anyone fortunate enough to have a very large garden will find that getting electrical power to the far end can involve one extension lead plugged into another. Each connection is another source of danger especially in the wet or even just on damp grass. An electrical safety device should ALWAYS be used with any electrical power tool used outdoors. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

Tripping over a power lead is something else to watch out for. Not just because it could cause you, the power tool user, to fall over but also because if someone else were to trip over it it could pull the still running power tool to be pulled from your hands!

Battery powered.

Often called 'Cordless', these are usually 18 volts or less and although fine for the smaller sawing jobs they are no match for even a low powered mains or petrol chainsaw.

As you can see all three classes of chainsaws have their own drawbacks. Petrol - Heavy and noisy. Mains electric – Needs to be near a power socket. Cordless – A bit puny!

But now, due to the advances in Lithium Ion battery technology, there is a new breed of cordless chainsaw just becoming available which has the advantage of the power of petrol powered and the convenience of cordless powered chainsaws.

This new cordless chainsaw is the Bosch AKE 30 LI.

This new chainsaw uses the very latest generation of 36 Volt Lithium Ion battery making it much more powerful than its lower voltage cousins.

This 36V battery pack provides enough power for it to be able to saw up to one hundred 10cm softwood branches on one charge! That's quite a few logs ready for the log-burner in a very short length of time! It can be recharged in 90 minutes which means it can be ready for action after a long-ish lunch break!

So, no more, potentially dangerous, power leads draped around the garden and no petrol to be stored and poured into the chainsaw.

I think the new 36V Bosch AKE 30 LI cordless chainsaw is going to show the way for other manufacturers of power tools and I would not be at all surprised if other, traditionally petrol powered, power tools also 'go cordless' in the not too distant future.

Street Talk

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