Photo: American hardwood export council
A widely known proverb “A habit is predominant over a choice” explains that people and even professionals wholly rely on their experience to justify a choice. Well-informed people are distinguished by their experience, however, the experience or the habit may become an obstacle for the implementation of new trends in the industry and of cost–reducing methods, as well as an obstacle to the increase of the work efficiency.
This article discusses typical misbeliefs operators make when deciding which model of a hand chainsaw to choose. Big stationary chain saws are not included in the scope of this research. In this article, for simplicity purposes, the term «a chain saw» refers specifically to a hand tool. Managers and specialists of purchasing departments of plywood mills, woodworking plants, cellulose and paper mills, as well as industrial manufacturers of wood and charcoal will find herein new ways of reducing expenses and increasing work efficiency.
All chain saws available in the market can be divided into two categories: (1) the gasoline engine powered and (2) the electric motor powered chain saws. According to their field of application, chainsaws are divided into nonprofessional and professional chain saws. The Slide 4. demonstrates 3 market segments out of the existing 4. The missing segment “professional electric saw” sometimes does spontaneously or by default appear in advertising campaigns. Actually, the main part of a so-called professional electric saw is the same brushed rotational (commutated) motor as the one used in nonprofessional saws. The main disadvantages of a brushed rotational (commutated) motor are its non-durability, low resistance to overloads and sparking. These disadvantages limit a field of a chainsaw application to a usage in a household or in a country yard an hour a day.
Furthermore electric chain saws can be divided into the following 3 categories: (1) wired, (2) wireless (battery powered) and (2) professional electric.
(Slides 7 -8)
Here are the 10 misbeliefs we are going to uncover to help you choose the chainsaw right for you:
Misbelief 1: CHAIN SAW SHOULD BE LIGHT
The design of the great majority of chain saws allows 2 positions of the operator’s body:
- bent over when sawing wood is located on the ground;
- standing up when sawing wood is located on the cut saw horse.
The first method is used when the log is very heavy or it is not possible or difficult to lift it due to other reasons. The main disadvantage of this method is that it creates a high pressure on the back of the operator. It is difficult to endure 8 hours being bent over. Moreover, the work efficiency of an operator is reduced significantly after one hour of work in that position.
To reduce pressure on the back, a log is usually lifted for the operator to work without staying bent over. A disadvantage of this method is the requirement to lift a log. It will be done either by two workers bending their backs or by installing a log on the cut saw horse at the level reaching hands of an operator. The use of a cut saw horse requires one less operator, but involves additional expenses to buy it.
Furthermore, in both cases, an increased pressure on the muscles of an operator should be taken into account as it is necessary for him to constantly hold a saw and push and pull it for sawing.
To reduce pressure on the operator’s back, the saw weight can be reduced. But the lighter the saw is the less powerful it is. In other words, if you need a powerful saw, you should take into account its considerable weight. Nowadays, 3.4-4 kW professional electric saws weigh from 5 to 6 kg. Hence the buyer of a saw faces the dilemma – the more efficiency is required, the more powerful the engine should be. At the same time, a more powerful engine decreases production efficiency due to increased weight and rapid tiredness of the operator. Is not this an endless challenge of choice? Companies hire physically strong and persistent operators to settle this problem.
Victar professional electric saw has a unique approach to solve these problems. The weight of the saw is 10 kg. This fact at first may be seen as an obstacle when considering to purchase this saw. However it solves all mentioned challenges – things that seem to be perceived as disadvantages at first turn into irreplaceable advantages:
- An operator works standing up almost without bending his body, the pressure on the back is eliminated.
- The lifting of a log and the use of a cut saw horse are not required, no need to involve an additional person.
- A release of the hands muscles from sawing contributes to an increased volume of production. The saw simply cuts into the wood under its own weight! Additional pressure on the saw can be created by laying on a saw handle. Do you want to increase a volume of production? Just transfer the weight of your body onto the saw. An operator is having a rest while the saw is working hard. The only task of an operator is to move the saw to the next cutting place and turn it on.
- To increase the power of a saw and the speed of the sawing, you have to press on the saw with stretched out hands.
Misbelief 2: CHAIN SAW SHALL BE GASOLINE-POWERED
Currently, gasoline saws are mostly used for a professional application. This happens due to a habit or lack of knowledge about advanced trends in the sawing industry. A comparison of advantages and disadvantages of different types of saws shows that each saw does its best when respecting certain conditions. Gasoline saws are used in the forest, electric saws are used in a production facility. We will discuss these peculiarities in details below. (slide 9)
Misbelief 3: ELECTRICITY IS AN EXPENSIVE TYPE OF ENERGY
To compare the costs of consumption of different types of energy we will take into consideration the following variables:
- 3-shift operation of an enterprise,
- 30 working days per month,
- gasoline price is AI92 34 RUB per liter,
- oil price is 700 RUB per liter,
- electricity prices are 5 RUB per 1 kW,
- average consumption of gasoline is 5 liters per 8 hours (for STIHLMS-361),
- average consumption of oil is 0,1 liter per 8 hours (1:50),
- average consumption of electricity by a Victar saw is 3 kW per hour,
- a converter PSFC – 400 is used for the power supply of the electric saw.
Simple calculations help us to conclude that electricity costs TWO times cheaper to any mill!
Misbelief 4: MANUFACTURE OF CHAIN SAWS SHOULD OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF SAWS
Along with professional equipment leading manufacturers of chain saws produce different household and agricultural tools, horticulture equipment, even vacuum cleaners, etc. Instead of an abundance range of products, Victar produces only one professional electric saw focusing its efforts on the quality. We can claim that Victar is an expert in the field of wood sawing on production facilities. More than 300 enterprises in Russia and neighboring countries trust this equipment.
Misbelief 5: ONLY WORLD LEADING BRANDS CAN BE RELIABLE
If you once bought an equipment, you know that you will definitely obtain the true information about the quality of the equipment from the service center and not from a sales-manager. Ask your service centre how the saw performs during normal or aggressive operation in a month, a year or a few years?
Communication with service centers and users of professional gasoline-powered saws of Stihl MS-361, Husqvarna-555 revealed that at plywood mills, wood-working plants, cellulose and paper mills and other wood-related enterprises, the average period of usage of these models is 1 year or maximum 2 years. After two years, the operator of a saw has to cover the cost of major reparations or have to buy a new saw. Workshops are full of saws left for reparation. People deal with service centers even during the warranty period.
Victar professional electric saws are used for years. Operators of the Victar saw replace rapidly burned out parts (bearings, gears, sprockets, chains, bars) on site and continue to work. No need to deal with service centers!
Misbelief 6: SPECIAL SERVICE IS COMPULSORY TO MAINTAIN CHAIN SAWS
A gasoline-powered saw is a complicated tool requiring fine adjustment same as for a car. To perform maintenance on site, you need to have a qualified and well-acquainted specialist. Most operators do not have enough experience to repair a chainsaw, therefore in most cases, gasoline-powered chainsaws are sent to service centers for reparation.
The design of the Victar professional electric saw is comparable to a tricycle in the ease of maintenance and the saw is as reliable as it is simple. This allows the operator himself to conduct maintenance of the saw without special skills and experience in reparation. It will roughly take you 1 hour to get familiar with the design of the Victar saw and its mechanisms. Simple maintenance of the saw and regular inspection of the device will help you to avoid serious reparation for many years.
Misbelief 7: CHAIN SAW SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH A CHAIN BRAKE
This nonentity is related to technical regulations implemented mostly in Western countries. Indeed it is dreadful to imagine a gasoline-powered or electric saw with handles located near the cutting attachment operated without a chain brake. In cases of throw-backs upwards, serious injuries can happen to the operator.
Why does a throw-back occur? When the end of the bar gets in contact with the wood, the cutting teeth of the chain get caught in wood fibers. That is when the risk of a throw-back occurs. This risk grows:
- with an increase of the chain pitch as biting into the wood becomes more aggressive;
- with an increased number of contacting teeth. When a wide bar with an increased diameter of a driven sprocket is used, up to 3 teeth can simultaneously contact the wood (for example, Parma saw). Consequently, the risk of a throw-back triples compared to a narrow bar with 1 contacting tooth.
- when the cutting edge of a chain tooth is blunt, a saw loses its ability to rapidly cut into the wood.
During a throw-back a rotation center locates in a right handle. It is not difficult to spot an upward movement of a saw. Now we will speak about the design of the Victar professional electric saw. The center of gravity of the saw fixes on the high handle. Thus, when the end of the bar touches the wood and a saw is thrown back, the direction goes forward deep inside the wood and never upwards.
This fact eliminates the need for a break created simply as an additional mechanism for safeness. Moreover for comparison, when using a gasoline-powered saw, the engine continues to work even when the saw is turned off. The motor of the Victar electric saw stops immediately during a throw-back.
Misbelief 8: MOVING PARTS (driving sprocket, chain) OF A CHAIN SAW SHOULD BE COVERED
This misbelief also has arisen from technical regulations. In the western countries, safety regulations of gasoline and electric saws require considering in its construction the coverage of a sprocket. The regulation came in force due to the close location of moving parts from the operator’s hands. The distance from the hands to the sprocket of a simple chain saw is about 13 cm only.
The higher handle of the Victar saw is designed to allow a distance between the operator’s hands and the moving parts of 40 cm, that is 3 times further than in gasoline-powered saws. Such a design allows for a safe distance between a rotating sprocket and a moving chain and the operator’s hands. Therefore there is no sense to cover a driving sprocket considering the design of a Victar saw. At the same time, a visor is located on the case close to a driving sprocket and protects from direct contact from below and behind.
Thus we smoothly came up to a third type of electric saw having an asynchronous motor and designed with a highly located handle. There are actually no comparables to such an electric saw in the world.
Misbelief 9: THERE IS NO PROFESSIONAL ELECTRIC SAWS
Taking into account all the parameters, we can claim that a professional hand electric saw exists. Victar’s output capacity (not consumed) surpasses 3 kW, a saw can be operated in three shifts 30 days a month 365 days a year. A saw may endure long-term overloads in comparison to any other model of electric saw.
Misbelief 10: CHAIN SAW SHOULD BE CHEAP
Victar conducted a marketing research in different countries of the world. The research reveals that in the CIS countries the average price for gasoline-powered saws is 10-20 times lower than the price of Victar professional electric saw including a converter.
What are the most important features of chain saws for buyers?
In the segment of nonprofessional gasoline and electric saws, a low price counts first. Chinese branded saws become a choice in this niche. Durability is not under consideration in this case as the volume of work in a household is not huge. Nonprofessional saws are used occasionally.
The segment of professional saws has its own peculiarities. The most important features of professional saws are safety, durability, and resistance to long-term overloads. The segment of professional saws is represented by professional gasoline-powered saws and Victar electric saws. However, along with these parameters typical for the most of the professional saws, Victar offers much more advantages to its customers. No professional gasoline-powered saws can provide these advantages:
6 + 1 advantages of Victar professional electric saw:
- As it was mentioned above, Victar allows the enterprises to save on energy consumption approximately 130.000 RUB per year. 130.000 RUB are direct losses of the enterprise using gasoline-powered saws. If we consider the costs of reparation and spare parts of gasoline-powered saws, then the number of losses will increase even more.
- The total period of operation of Victar professional electric saw is 10 times longer than the period of life of gasoline-powered saws of the Stihl MS-361 class.
- Maintenance of Victar saws does not require dealing with a service center. A mechanic (or an operator) having no experience will get the job done. Any part of a saw can be replaced in 15-20 minutes right on the working premises.
- Victar saws release the operators from a lot of hard work. Operators can considerably increase their volume of production working in a convenient position.
- Victar saw made it possible to work indoors, tunnels and workshops where it is strictly prohibited to use gasoline-powered cutting tools due to toxic emissions.
- Victar saw successfully operates at extreme temperatures from -35 to +40 degrees Celsius. A gasoline-powered engine freezes under temperatures below -30. Victar continues to perform its best with cheap oil even diluted with diesel oil.
There is the seventh advantage of a Victar professional electric saw. This advantage was brought by Stihl company, which together with law-enforcement authorities chasing false Stihl oil. This campaign was initiated because of lost profit of the company and technical reasons as well. A gasoline engine consumes a fuel mixture made with special oil. The use of fake oil leads to an accelerated deterioration of the engine, an increase of oil consumption, etc.
- Victar does not impose specific requirements for oil. Victar saw operates the same best way with the cheapest oil type М-8А at the price of 50-80 RUB per liter, which is 10 times cheaper than branded Stihl oil. Use any easily accessible oil!
Saving on the buying costs of a saw can cost you a lot of money.
A gasoline-powered saw consumes 5 times more fuel and lubrication materials per year than its initial cost in the shop. Electric saw Victar is 1.5 times more expensive than professional gasoline-powered saw, but during a year you do not almost increase your costs. The total economy only due to fuel and lubrication materials in the first year of operation is more than 100.000 RUB. Replacement of single Stihl MS-361 with Victar is fully paid back for over 10 months. The second year will bring you more economy of almost 130.000 RUB. You can always find better ways of spending your money, do not you?
* Note: Prices and calculations are specified as of February 1, 2016.