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Best Chainsaw for cutting large diameter logs lengthwise6/14
What is the best chainsaw for quartering large logs lengthwise that are about 3 to 5 feet in diameter?
Also, what is best chain and pitch (i.e. semi-chisel or full chisel) for cutting these large logs?
Are there any dangers with large bar chainsaws kicking back when using an aggressive chain and what preventive measures could be taken?
If the budget allows I would consider either a Stihl 880 or Husky 3120 with 404 chain. These are the two largest professional saws on the market with plenty of torque to power through big logs. These saws will take big bars and Cannon makes custom large bars that are very good.
I agree - I have been using my 088 (now known as 880) with a 36" bar, a full skip .404 chain, for just that purpose for close to 15 years now - I cannot speak highly enough of the quality or reliability of that saw.
There won't be much opportunity to bump the tip of the bar against the log when milling, so kickback issues should be close to nil. Ripping chains typically are ground at a flatter angle (about 10 degrees) than conventional cross cut chains. I'd recommend you buy a ripping chain and sharpening guide. I use semi-chisel, but some people prefer full chisel. My saw is an old Husqvarna 2100.
I use a stihl 660 magnum with a 42" bar. with my alaskan mill I can mill a 36" diameter log with ease. The 660 uses a 3/8" chain the larger saws use a 1/2". this is 25% more material to remove, just one thing to consider. But a 42" bar is the largest bar I can find for the 660. The saw runs great and could probably handle a bigger bar. It's been worked hard it's whole life and still going strong, but like me it can be a little hard to get started.
I sharpen my chains at 12 degrees across the top, with a 40 degree tooth angle. Through testing I've found this to be a good compromise between speed, and chain life.
Last time I milled it took 12-15min per cut for a 9', 36" wide slab.
I buy the Oregon rip chains from Bailys. I bought a bulk roll and made my chains. I bought the chain, a spinner, and a sharpener for about the cost of pre-made chains locally. I find 5 chains are usually good for a day (I always seem to hit metal, or something in the bark).