RogerBW's Blog

Bosch AdvancedCut 18 12 July 2020

Now I have a chainsaw. They'll sell them to anybody

See, back in the day (specifically in 1992), there was this:

(in Chromebook 2 for the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG).

And 28 years later there is this:

It is, indeed, a small electric chainsaw. Now, I admit I've had bad experiences with electric chainsaws before; I rented a mains-driven one some years ago, and it spent more time jammed on twigs than actually cutting. So that wasn't great.

But I don't expect this one to behave like a full-size chainsaw. In fact it feels like one step up from secateurs; an anvil pruner, with a bit of force behind it, will go through branches up to about 20mm, and where that stops this takes over. It also works like a small machete for slashing through several thinner things at once: grab loose end, sweep blade down through anything that's still holding on to the parent plant.

I discovered this while looking for something else on YouTube, and immediately told my wife "I have no possible use for this". She replied "I think you should get one". She knows me very well.

(Standard pint glass for scale.)

It fits comfortably into my gloved hand. I suspect the grip might be a bit big for some people.

The chain is contained on its own cassette, which can be removed and exchanged by opening a catch. (That internal space tends to fill up with sawdust almost at once, though it doesn't seem to clog the mechanism.) New cassettes are about £20, which is unfortunate, but so far this one is lasting very well.

The odd thing for me is that there's very little sense of vibration while cutting; one has to push a bit, but the blade descends through wood very smoothly, and coming to the far side of a branch can be quite unexpected.

I've been wearing my fireworking helmet (with mesh face-screen and earmuffs built in), just as I tend to for pressure-washing, and heavy gloves. Probably not all of these things are necessary, but I do not yet incorporate enough starfish DNA to grow a new finger or Organ of Corti. I do note that when I release the trigger the chain stops almost at once.

The same blades can be used in the EasyCut 12 (which runs off a 12V battery and has a more pistol-shaped casing), but by many accounts that's rather less powerful. The 18V battery can of course be used in various other Bosch tools.

I've been using this in the garden; I already have a (mains-powered) jigsaw and mitre saw for cutting on a workbench. But the cuts are quite clean, and one could easily run the guard along a straight edge to get a consistent long cut. (There's a jigsaw that uses the same battery and blade, too.)

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Tags: toys

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 12:50pm on 12 July 2020

    "Beware the happy man with power tools."

  2. Posted by John P at 09:43pm on 12 July 2020

    Dr. "Psycho" Billy Bedside will see you now ... ;-)

  3. Posted by Chris Suslowicz at 11:18pm on 12 July 2020

    I bought (years ago) a Makita (Dolmar) battery chainsaw on the principle that the various 'electric pruners' by Black & Decker (other vendors were available) that appeared to work (FVSVOW) on the principle of an abrasive belt that destroyed the cutter head at a comparable rate to the intended branches) had serious negative reviews as to both capability and longevity.

    The Makita had a similar negative review as "Build quality good, completely unsuitable for serious use." but that was by a Canadian lumberjack, so I felt quite safe in buying it.

    It's brilliant: about 4" (with care) cutting capacity, walks through most branches, very controllable, but (as the man said) short battery life - though it came with two batteries and a fast-ish charger.

    Unfortunately I lost the extension pole to my thieving and treacherous brothers in the "distribution" of my father's estate - along with a lot of other stuff.

  4. Posted by Chris Bell at 10:02am on 13 July 2020

    Sounds like the thieves who took our family car to use in a smash-and-grab raid (it's a longish story) and when they abandoned it, stole the cigarette lighter which would fit no other car they were likely to have.

    What use to the prunes was the extension pole without the chainsaw?

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 10:21am on 13 July 2020

    This one's more like 2½" of usable blade. Bosch do make a 2.6m polesaw ("Universalchainpole 18 NU Cordless Telescopic Chainsaw") but that's a more conventional electric chainsaw, and I wouldn't expect one of these 18V batteries to drive it very hard.

    I haven't yet run the battery down very far even with extended sessions of cutting things and giggling.

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