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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14805
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 10:57 am    Post subject: Power tools  Reply with quote    

I find myself in need of basic tools to keep a couple of acres under control. This is not really my sort of shopping!

What do I need to know? Initially, I am thinking of a brushcutter, lawn mower/small tractor thingy and (very) small chainsaw, plus sharp things for cutting wood (axe, splitter, maul, bill hook and so on). I need to do a lots of brush clearance and weed management, some tree felling and coppicing, and keep on top of a couple of acres which I am going to plant up with trees.

I'll obviously get professionals in to deal with the big trees, and they will section them for me to split. There are several bits of old coppice and fruit trees to take down and then coppicing in the longer term.

With the exception of the mower, I want things to be as small and manageable as possible, just like me. Although I can often handle the weight of man sized tools, I really struggle with the grips as my hands are so small. I'm assuming that there is some sort of toy tractor/versatile ride on mower available for smallholders that can pull a harrow and a small trailer, as well as being able to cut grass?

Good brands, that don't break down all the time and come with instructions on maintenance and simple problem solving. I may know nothing about the infernal combustion engine, but I can follow instructions and put up flat pack furniture, and surely it can't be harder than that?

(Safety gear goes without saying. I may need children's sizes...)

Piggyphile



Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Galicia
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry to not be much practical help but you need a small 3 wheeled Galician tractor called a Bertolini as demonstrated by a typical Galician family
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9vNoiy08oM
Safety equipment is a blue boiler suit and baseball cap.
Evidently they are quite hard to drive and last for decades.

Oh I nearly forgot don't miss the Galician Wrecking ball song,very 'Galician'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDS0pUYezQo

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43925
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd buy as few power tools as possible, unless they're used every week you can guarantee that they won't start or will break the one time you actually need them

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43925
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

WW why do you need a mower? The trees will eventually shade the grass out but until then it'll supress other weeds, we just mulch new plantings

Piggyphile



Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Galicia
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On a serious note I recently bought a Maruyama brushcutter BC4320H-RS for 479 euros, it is easy to start and comes with a brushcutter head and a strimmer head. It is classed as 'professional' weighs 7.9kg and I can work with it (arthritic knees, 50 female) but I have decided to only use it when someone else is around as I need to start it first before strapping it to me and it is awkward until it is on the harness.

I would recommend a full body harness as opposed to a strap over one shoulder. I don't know of any suppliers in the UK and I have only had it for a month. The guys in the shop said it is the model they use for hiring out and it lasts well. Could you try hiring one for a couple of days to see if you like it? We ended up going to a good local dealer and seeing what they had rather than travelling miles away. My local dealer also services them.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14799
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was reasonably impressed with the Ryobi battery chainsaw.
As long as you aren't expecting it to perform like a petrol saw and just want to do some light cutting, it is not bad.
Light weight and never has a problem with stale fuel or mucky sparkplug.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32888
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a good axe ,not too heavy .18" handle.grunfors or similar

a good wheel barrow,builders merchants,too useful to list how useful

felling lever with hook.not just for felling but useful for pulling stuff around.

chainsaw ,spend most of the money on training then get a good oldish second hand husky and ppe ,save the money on felling fellas by practicing your new skills.

brush cutting etc either go petrol or get a selection of traditional blades on a stick type tools,i would go for the latter .brush hook ,small schythe,machete.all these need practice but are much nicer and just as fast as noise and fumes once mastered .

kelly kettle for brew time

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 14 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
I'd buy as few power tools as possible, unless they're used every week you can guarantee that they won't start or will break the one time you actually need them


Assuming you are talking about petrol powered....
If you buy professional kit (Stihl / Husky) then that is not the case.
In the past I've used semi-professional/DIY kit and they can be finicky about starting.
I now have 4 Stihl machines and they all start easy - even if they are stored for months with fuel in the tank. I rarely check they will start before heading off to a job.

Yes professional kit is expensive but a 99 petrol tool is more than likely unrepairable once broken, is virtually disposable and IMO a waste of money and resources.

And professional kit is usually lighter.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use a stihl brushcutter (only when I absolutely have to). The size is not important in a way since it is very well balanced but I was thinking the height might be a problem for you so you'd better go and try it.

I do not like chainsaws of any size and would try and find another option, good loppers probably. That is just me though but I could show you the large scar on Jack's hand from when a friend turned round with the chainsaw already turned off but still not quite slowed down enough...

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

PS Next year when we have some orphan lambs...

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Would a good quality hand saw suffice? Something like a decent, long, Silky saw? I've used mine for light felling and well as coppicing and limbing.

I'm now looking at a professional chainsaw and I'm expecting to pay the same for all the PPE kit and the same again for training.

One thing about petrol machinery that's not often used, I've heard a few people recommend something like Aspen fuel, as it has a longer shelf life than standard petrol.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32888
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thinking of muscle powered saws,a bow saw with a good blade(sandvik are excellent blades and can be got with different teeth for soft/hard woods) is a very useful tool .
for a few cuts they are as fast as a chainsaw if you include time fueling, finding ppe ,etc etc .

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14799
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Would a good quality hand saw suffice? Something like a decent, long, Silky saw? I've used mine for light felling and well as coppicing and limbing.

I'll say again to give some thought to a battery saw. I reckon the one we've got is safer than a silky.

Quote:
One thing about petrol machinery that's not often used, I've heard a few people recommend something like Aspen fuel, as it has a longer shelf life than standard petrol.

I've heard that there is a lot of variety in the amount of alcohol in modern petrol: not even consistent across brands.
I'm told that alcohol is a cause of a lot of trouble in saws, etc.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32888
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

my milwaukie sawzall is ok for stuff up to about 100mm but a full charge is about ten mins cutting which is ok as it fast charges and has 2 batteries but it needs to be near a plug.

a good chainsaw is cheaper than a good battery saw and will run while you have fuel ,with most a 5 ltr fuel tin will do a days work which is a lot of cutting

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14799
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 14 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
a good chainsaw is cheaper than a good battery saw and will run while you have fuel ,with most a 5 ltr fuel tin will do a days work which is a lot of cutting

It depends what you are doing. Clearly a battery saw is no good for logging, but in a lot of land management work, you spend more time moving than you do actual cutting.
For that sort of thing, our battery chainsaw will usually go all morning, if not longer.

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