Most Popular Chainsaw Brands of 2024

Around six years ago now, I made a post here on ChainsawsToday about the most popular chainsaw brands of the year.

I think it’s time we update you guys, and see where we’re at in 2024!

As a reminder, there is a group called OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) who periodically puts out data like this for the entire industry. That is my source.

Like last time, I want to lead with the actual cold hard facts, in tabular form, and then we can discuss some of the details.

2024 Chainsaw Market Share by Brand

Brand201920202021202220232024
Stihl76.0%75.8%74.9%76.2%75.7%78.7%
Echo11.4%12.0%12.5%11.5%12.5%10.1%
Husqvarna11.6%11.0%11.3%11.2%10.7%10.4%
Makita0.2%0.3%0.3%0.3%0.3%0.2%
Shindaiwa0.3%0.3%0.3%0.2%0.2%0.2%
Ego0.1%0.3%0.3%0.2%0.2%0.0%
RedMax0.1%0.1%0.2%0.2%0.1%0.1%
Greenworks0.0%0.1%0.1%0%0.1%0.1%
Toro0%0%0%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Oregon0.1%0%0%0%0%0%
DeWalt0%0%0%0%0.1%0%
Jonsered0%0%0%0%0%--
Before discussing these rows and data points, let’s chat about where the data comes from, and what it might mean.

Chainsaw Brand Popularity Data

This is a little tricky. Don’t let me bore you or lose you.

The OPEI surveys a given number of customers who have recently purchased various outdoor power equipment.

This could be chainsaws (pertinent to our discussion here), or a tractor, or a mower, etc.

In the survey, they ask the participants what brand they bought. Typically, the consumer gets back to them with a specific brand, or in some regrettable cases they simply answer “I don’t know”.

I have joked before about people buying a chainsaw and not even knowing what brand it is. I’m sure you find that surprising. I know I do. but it happens.

Sometimes when folks answer, they might misspell or mispronounce a brand. Or in all honesty, the survey may catch them by surprise and they may forget which brand and just write the wrong one down.

Because of some of these inherent inaccuracies, let’s assume any brands within a few percentage points of each other are roughly equivalent.

One last thing, not much data has been published for 2024 yet, so there is plenty that could change between now and the end of the year.

Stihl Chainsaw Popularity

Stihl is still the most popular brand of chainsaw in North America.

They are head and shoulders above their nearest competitor. And with several years of data shown in the chart, you can see they have maintained this market dominance for quite some time.

Stihl has quite a marketing machine, and this contributes to their success. They’ve also had some successful product launches that has driven their popularity in the last few years.

Echo Chainsaw Popularity

Although a distant second place, Echo has been chasing market share for years.

I reviewed their CS-590 Timberwolf not too long ago, and thought it was a great product. They have a compelling lineup, with plenty of solid entries.

Their 20″ 60cc model is fairly popular, but I don’t actually know of a single Echo saw that is crappy.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Popularity

Husqvarna is more or less tied with Echo for second place.

In years past, Husqvarna also manufactured Jonsered, RedMax, and Poulan Pro saws. In that way, it may give them an edge over Echo just in terms of yearly volumes and overall popularity.

Although I have used Husqvarna saws on and off since I was old enough to help my dad and grandfather cut wood, I have never posted a review of one here on the website. Note to sell- remedy this situation!

But Husqvarna is also known for selling tons of gear, and I did review their protective apparel kit a few years ago – find details here.

I will wrap it up there.

I was checking out the data from OPEI and thought I would keep you guys in the loop.

Best Pipe Insulation and Heat Cable/Tape

Depending on where you live, you may have to deal with frigid temps all the time, or it may just be a cold snap every now and then.

Or maybe you live on a tropical island and you don’t even own a winter coat!

You know what sucks? Frozen pipes.

If you’re really lucky, they freeze and thaw without bursting and it doesn’t cost you a fortune.

When they burst, they can cause extensive property damage. Think about flooding your house or basement, ruining drywall, ceilings, furniture, electrical appliances. It can be a nightmare even with good homeowner’s insurance.

Even in the best case, if the pipes don’t burst, it’s a pain in the butt. Nothing kills a busy weekend full of obligations or plans like having zero water service. You can’t shower, do stuff in the kitchen, wash clothes, and if unlucky you may not even be able to use your toilet. Ya might only get one flush (I’ve been there).

If you come here to ChainsawsToday looking specifically for content about chainsaws, cool. But I get dragged into more handyman stuff than you can shake a stick at, and I recently helped an elderly lady harden her plumbing against cold weather. She had been dealing with the nuisance and the risk of frozen pipes for several years, and for a minimal amount of time, effort, and money I was able to help fix that for her.

I figured I would drop something on the website to help others looking for the best options for pipe insulation and heat tape.

Pipe Insulation

Insulating risky pipes is one of the easiest and most inexpensive options.

Any pipe or connection that is above ground is at risk. Some areas to watch out for…
pipes in a crawlspace
pipes running from a well pump into the ground
outside hose bibs or spigots, and the pipes running to them

Depending on your location and how cold it gets, underground pipes can be a problem too. The frost line varies by region, and hopefully your pipes are a) buried deep enough to be below the frost line, and b) insulated down to that point.

Foam pipe insulation is a great option.

Foam pipe insulation is a gold standard – click HERE for bulk pricing

This is generally made of closed-cell polyethylene foam. It usually comes with a split down its lengthwise run, which makes it very quick and easy to install. It’s flexible, pretty wear resistant, not easy to tear or tear up. It’s not terribly expensive. If installing it somewhere it could be exposed to wind, I would recommend adding spots or even entire strips of tape to seal the slit once installed, that way it can’t blow off.

Also, for connections and T’s, you should probably butt pieces up against one another and seal them with tape.

Purchased in bulk, this will cost you around $1/ft.

Insulating tape is another option.

Winding insulation tape around your pipes for protection – click HERE to see bulk deals

It insulates just as well, or in some cases even better than the split foam tube option, but it’s harder to install.

When I say “harder”, it don’t mean like rocket science. You just have to wrap the roll around each pipe carefully, with (ideally) an even and precise overlap.

Costing this option is a little tricky. Because you’re wrapping it around the pipe, linear feet on the tape roll doesn’t equate to linear feet on the pipe. Plus you need overlap. A rough rule of thumb is assume a 30′ roll of 2″ wide tape will cover around 15′ of 1/2″ diameter pipe. With that assumption, the cost is about the same as the foam insulation.

If you need to up your game, pipe heat tape or heat cable may come into play.

This is basically like a heated blanket for your pipes. You can wrap the tape or cable in a spiral around each pipe, or in some cases you just run it straight down each length. Most kits come with tape or anchors to fasten it around the pipe. You then plug it into an outlet, and when powered a resistance heating keeps the material warm and prevents freezing.

Heat tape can protect pipes even in the Arctic – click HERE to check latest pricing

Nobody wants to stomp around in the middle of a snowstorm plugging their pipe heaters in. I usually recommend plugging them in to one of the small, cheap wifi controllers like this, and that way you can turn each on and off with your phone. Some of the more expensive versions come with thermostats, which is even nicer.

There are a couple of drawbacks to going the powered route. Number one, there are only so many plugs and outlets that can be managed. If you have more than a couple of runs of this, it becomes like a Clark Griswold Christmas Vacation thing where you are just itching to blow a fuse or trip a breaker. And of course electricity costs money, so your power bill may suffer.

On the other hand, if temps are sub-zero and brutally cold, insulation without a heated option may not be enough.

One final item I’ll throw out there, I use a heat lamp in my well pump house. My well pump and reservoir sit under a little 3’x3’x3′ plastic dome. The dome has some insulation on the underside, but not much, and it’s crumbling away anyway from age. I had a problem with some components freezing a few years ago during a cold snap, so I set a heat lamp out there and wired it to a wifi outlet controller.

Of course you have to use an “old school” incandescent bulb. Modern day LED bulbs are too efficient, and produce too little heat to have a protective effect. Any time it gets below about 20 degrees, I turn the well pump house heat lamp on the prevent problems.

A heat lamp in my pump house – click HERE to see pricing

Best Chainsaw Hearing Protection

Let’s get serious for a minute.

Hearing damage can be irreversible.

In many cases, once it’s lost, it never comes back. Also, it can be cumulative. The more exposure you have to loud noise, over time it will absolutely begin to affect your hearing.

Listen, when I was younger, I was invincible. It’s not that I didn’t realize things I was doing would affect my body. I just didn’t care. I figured hell, one day we all get old, I’ll worry about that later.

I wish now that I had taken better care of my body. Better care of my joints. Better care of my skin relative to sun exposure. And definitely better care of my hearing.

How loud are chainsaws?

The average chainsaw is 106-120 decibels. Battery saws tend to be a bit quieter. And some saws are much louder.

That Supmix 62cc saw I reviewed a while back was loud enough to wake the dead!

Anything over about 80 decibels may require protection. Here’s the standard chart that relates how loud something is to the exposure limit, or length of time it might be sustainable:

Even if you are just running a chainsaw for a minute, just to clean up one branch or knock the knob off one log, you should be wearing hearing protection. It just isn’t worth the risks of going without.

Here’s what I would recommend, going in stages of effectiveness.

Stage 1 – the bare minimum

Foam Ear Plugs

Foam ear plugs like these Mack’s Ultra Soft ear plugs are a good product.

They are pretty convenient to carry. You can stuff then in your shirt or pants pocket, put a pack in your equipment bag, etc.

They are pretty comfortable. Because they’re so light weight, they don’t really bother your ears. They are soft and usually don’t cause any problem or irritation even if you have to wear them for hours at a time, or all day.

And they are reasonably effective. If inserted properly, they have a NRR (noise reduction rating) of 33 decibels. So if that saw your are using is 120 decibels, these ear plugs could reduce it to 87 decibels. That’s still a little sketchy if you look at the chart, but much better than nothing at all.

Mack’s foam ear plugs are a good option – check HERE for Amazon pricing

Stage 2 – a better option

These ear muffs from Decibel Defense are an upgrade option to Mack’s ear plugs.

One of the inherent problems with ear plugs is they aren’t terribly stable. They can be pulled out or knocked out, and there is a bit of technique to roll them up and insert them into your ear canal. These ear muffs do away with all of that.

Also, they have an improved NRR of 37 decibels. This provides just a little extra protection compared to the 33 decibels from the foam ear plugs.

These are very comfy, with soft, thick cushions that go over your ears. They of course are a good bit heavier than just the bare minimum foam ear plug. Another drawback, if you’re working in a hot environment these can add to your heat stress. I’m one of those guys who sweats a lot, and sometimes it feels really good to pull the ear muffs off and let myself cool down!

These Decibel Defense ear muffs are a good upgrade option – click HERE to check latest Amazon pricing

Stage 3 – best option

A helmet/visor/muff combo is really an advanced protection system, and is often times one of the best options.

I covered the Husqvarna helmet a while back in a post about their nice protective apparel kit.

I’m still a big fan. It is very well-optioned and thought out.

It has a tiny bump out at the top of the visor that acts as a sun shield. That little feature is so nice to have during certain times of the day when the sun is brutal.

They are very comfortable. They have an Egyptian cotton sweatband inside, and ya’ll already know how much I sweat. I might not want to wear a helmet on a hot day, but the Husky helmet at least bends over backwards to make it as comfortable as possible.

They have plenty of adjustments for size and fitting. And the best part is their face shield. It has a fine mesh which does a surprisingly good job of keeping sawdust from flying up into to your face and your nose.

One drawback here is that their earmuffs are only rated to a 24 decibel reduction. That’s pretty standard across most forestry helmets. I know it sounds crazy, but I typically stick ear plugs in and wear the helmet for any kind of extended use activity.

Husqvarna has an amazingly comfortable helmet/visor/ear muff combo – check pricing HERE

I should probably do some reviews for more safety apparel, given how frequently we all see folks getting hurt in the industry. You may have already checked out my article on chainsaw gloves, and shin guards.

Be safe out there, folks!

NEO-TEC NS8105 36″ 105 cc Chainsaw Review

Sometimes, bigger is better. And sometimes you need a giant saw to do a giant job.

Huge and incredibly powerful saw ->>> CHECK AMAZON PRICES

Neotec claims their NS8105 chainsaw is a professional grade saw made for heavy-duty work like logging, felling massive trees, or cutting large diameter wood.

Over the last few years, they have gotten a pretty good reputation in the saw industry, and I have been wanting to try out one of their saws.

I was hired by a guy about an hour’s drive from me to cut up a huge 48″ plus thick tree that blew down on this property. I knew I was going to need a beast of a saw, and I saw this as an opportunity to order one of these Neotec 36-inchers and put it to the test.

NeoTec NS8105 – My Review

Right out of the box, this thing started right up and gave me no issues cutting.

It was always easy to start, whether hot or cold. And very easy to assemble.

The weight is a bit unwieldy, but that can be said of any saw that is sporting a 36″ bar and screaming to 6.5 Hp.

You definitely do not want to use something this big just for fun. I had to cut a very large diameter tree, and that fully justified a monster chainsaw.

The little support rod that braces the rubber-gripped handle to the bucking spikes was interesting. I think they added this just to stiffen the saw up, and it seems to work well. I wonder why more manufacturers don’t do this?


It has a 680 ml (23 oz) fuel tank. I hope you like buying fuel, because running this thing hard sure uses it. Again, this isn’t the saw’s fault – any big saw is going to be a gas hog. It seemed like I was constantly refueling it.

Despite a few of those drawbacks (the weight and the fuel usage), the power is addictive. Cranking on that trigger and bearing down on the handle means this thing slices through hardwood like some kind of nuclear powered buzzsaw.

The chain, right from the factory, seems to be set up just right, not too aggressive and not too lazy.

Same goes for the bar oil tank. It holds 360 ml (12 oz) and I ran through several tanks. It really has to crank out the oil to keep a chain/bar this long oiled.

What an incredible beast of a saw! —> CLICK HERE TO CHECK AMAZON PRICES
I put this thing through it’s paces through a long, hard weekend, and it never missed a beat. It really is a good bargain, and I’m interested in trying out some more of Neotec’s saws.

SupMix 20″ 62cc Chainsaw Review – My Experience

This one has been a long time coming.

I actually ordered one of these almost eight weeks ago, but it took nearly six weeks to arrive.

The first shipment was apparently lost, and the second shipment landed while I was out of town on a work/cutting trip.

After using it for a couple of weeks and maybe 30+ hours of cutting, I’m eager to tell you my thoughts. First, the basics…

SupMix 20″ 62cc Chainsaw Specs

SupMix 20″ 62cc Chainsaw – click >>Here<< to check Amazon’s latest prices
    • 4.2 Hp
    • 62cc
    • 2-stroke engine
    • front and rear anti-vibration handles
    • electronic ignition
    • 8500 rpm max
    • low kickback chain
    • chainsaw weight 14 lbs

Contents include:
chainsaw
chain
guide bar
spark plug
tool kit
2L fuel mixing bottle
oil hopper
instruction manual

Setup

This SupMix comes in a box somewhat unassembled just like any other brand new saw. You have to install the bar and the chain, then set the tension.

There are a few other things you have to do before you use it the first time, but unless it’s your first saw, you won’t have any surprises. And if it is your first saw, no worries, they have enough documentation that you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Of course you will want to premix the oil and gas. And don’t forget to fill up the bar/chain oil.

My Review

This thing starts easily. I have heard some folks complaining about getting it started, but I often wonder if those are people that complain about starting all saws. I had no trouble hot or cold, a few pulls of the cord and it was rip-roaring.

It cuts really well. Plenty of power, nice and straight, no stumbles.

SupMix 20″ 62cc Chainsaw – to review latest pricing click >>HERE<<
It does seem to like full-throttle, and doesn’t like being run hard at lower rpm. But most gas saws are like that.

One of the few complaints I have is about the noise. Wow, this thing is loud!

Maybe the Supmix guys spent their money on a good engine and chain and carb and scimped on their muffler?

I always wear hearing protection, and you should too. But this saw is very loud, and your neighbors (if they are close) are going to know it.

The other thing is replacement parts. There is a certain amount of confusion about what chain the saw needs. For clarification, it takes a 0.325″ pitch, 76 link, 0.058″ gauge. They are not hard to find.

Like I said at the beginning of the article, I put probably 30 or more hours on this saw. If you went on a 30 hour long date, you’d know that lady/guy pretty well, right?

This thing is thirsty for fuel, but it is 4.2 HP, and I ran it hard.

It has good balance, and the ergonomics are decent. I mentioned earlier in the specs that they list it as 14 lbs. It’s no lightweight, but these days with big honking batteries for battery chainsaw versions, the gas versions can feel lighter and even sporty in comparison.

The saw cuts fast, and the chain seemed both sharp and durable. Over the course of several days and the 30 hours, I did some basic sharpening, just hitting it with a quick file. Check my post about sharpening if you need the help.

I did not have any problems with tensioning, or kickback.

I’m always careful to keep bar oil filled. Running one dry is a great way to wreck the bar, the chain, and even stress the motor. I did notice once that the bar oil usage seemed to slow down compared to the fuel usage and run time. It made me think I had a clog in the bar, or maybe the pickup in the tank isn’t positioned well.

That isn’t necessarily a complaint, just something I noticed that made me suspicious. So if you buy one of these, keep a careful eye on it and top it off frequently.

So that’s my review. It’s a good saw, and an incredible bargain for the money. If you want to check latest pricing, you can click here.


How Much is a Cord of Wood – I answer one of life’s great mysteries!

Okay guys, I am finally going to do it.

Yes, it’s finally time for me to tackle one of life’s greatest mysteries.

You will no longer be uneducated, or have to rely on random nextdoor neighbor guesstimates. You are going to get the real, accurate scoop…

How much is a cord of wood?

People ask me this all the time.

It’s like a “yard of concrete” when you go to pour a driveway or build a foundation. If you don’t understand the unit of measure, and what it means, you’re just grasping at straws.

But never fear, there is a real answer out there.

Regardless of why you’re trying to measure an amount of wood, the universal descriptor is a cord.

Maybe you’re ordering wood and the guy is going to sell you a certain number of cords for $100. Maybe you’re cutting or splitting wood, and you’re wondering how much there is to cut or split. Regardless, you don’t say “a truckload” or “about 500 pounds”. You use the number of cords to describe the amount.

For whatever reason, the US Forest Service is more or less in charge of setting the definition of a cord of wood. And they say the following:

A standard, full cord of wood is a volume of 128 cubic feet, measured as a pile 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. A full cord can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.

It’s expected that a quarter ton pickup truck would hold about half a cord of wood.

So hot tip here – if you’re buying firewood and the guy is delivering it in a “normal” quarter ton pickup truck with an 8′ bed, and he’s charging you say $100 for a cord, if he doesn’t make two trips you didn’t get a cord! A 6′ bed will only hold a third of a cord.

You can use those dimensions to help you estimate the volume of wood in uncut, unsplit logs too. If you have a pile of logs that are 16 feet long and roughly 4 feet high and 4 feet wide, then you would extrapolate that to mean there are 2 cords of wood there. Make sense?

The Best Gas Powered Log Splitter – My Review of the SuperHandy 25 Ton Log Splitter

Some of you guys have contacted me about my review of the Superhandy chipper saying I should check out their log splitter. So here we go!

Gas Powered vs Electric

I have been watching with great interest as electric log splitters have gotten better and more available over the years. There are a lot of great things you get with electric, even though it has some drawbacks too.

But at this point, the electric log splitters that are out there just aren’t powerful enough for what I need.

I may do a review sometime in the future of a smaller electric version, but based on the kind of work I do, and the size of the logs I generally have to split, I stuck with gas-powered.

If you have more of a light duty situation, and don’t need to split larger diameter stuff, then electric may be okay for you.

The Basics

There are a zillion different log splitters out there.

Some cost tens of thousands of dollars. I have seen log splitters so fancy they do everything but tie your shoes!

Hey, I’d be happy to have a log splitter that would auto load big heavy logs and save my back. Sure, I’d love to own one that was 100 ton and could split wood rounds six feet in diameter.

But I haven’t won the lotter yet, so I wanted to buy a splitter that was affordable but would get the job done.

You typically want to pay attention to the tonnage listed, which will be directly related to the size of the logs it will split.

The diameter and the length of the logs will make a difference. Bigger is typically better, but that capacity tends to cost more money, so it’s smart not to buy one bigger than you need.

Why I Chose the SuperHandy 25 Ton Splitter

The SuperHandy 25 Ton Splitter – this is the one I recommend – Click >>HERE<< to check the latest prices on Amazon

I landed on this SuperHandy 25 ton unit for several reasons.

I really liked their woodchipper – check out my review of that here, if you haven’t seen it already.

The capacity is decent – with the 7 hp engine and 25 ton hydraulics, they claimed it could split up to 20″ log lengths and up to 16″ log diameters.

There are a couple of “extra” features I liked. The flat free tires are a big deal. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to do some work and been delayed due to a flat tire on a wheelbarrow. Flat free tires cost the manufacturer more, but it’s a great feature to have in my opinion.

I also liked that it can be converted to split either horizontally or vertically.

It has a 2-stage gear pump, so it’s pretty efficient and not a gas hog.

With a 12-second cycle time, they claim up to 600 logs split per hour. I’m not out there to win a race or anything, but I didn’t want something with a super-slow cycle time. I need to get some work done!

My Review

I might as well tell you, my biggest gripe about this thing is the assembly.

I’m no dummy, I’m pretty handy and can put pretty much anything together. But when they say it may require two people to assemble… they ain’t lying.

I did get it put together by myself, but at various points I wished I was an octopus with eight arms. It’s not that it’s super complicated to assemble, but there are enough big/heavy parts to bolt together that you really need someone else to hold the parts while you get the bolts started.

This thing is quite beefy. So that’s good, in the sense that it will take a licking and keep on ticking. But don’t forget that means many of the components are commercial/industrial grade, so they are heavy.

The engine starts easily and has plenty of power. I really did split big, knotty chunks 16+ inches in diameter. I did on occasion jam the thing up, but I would either pull the hydraulic ram back and re-jigger the log and retry it again, or I would throw it off to the side to bust up with a maul later. That pretty much happens with any splitter, and I feel like this one does great considering its size/price.

The hydraulics work fine, and (so far) have no leaks.

I split several cords of wood over the course of two days, and ran many tanks of gas through this thing. It worked flawlessly!

The Best Felling Wedges – What I Recommend

One piece of tree cutting equipment I haven’t touched on yet is felling wedges.

What is a felling wedge?

You may use a felling wedge to basically “shim” a tree as you are cutting it down.

In that case, you would use it to either a) lean the tree one way or another by pounding a wedge (or several) into a cut you’ve created, or b) use it to open up a cut or to keep it open so your chainsaw doesn’t get pinched.

Along those lines, you might also use a felling wedge once a tree has been cut down and you’re bucking it or cutting it up on the ground. Same thing as before, you’ll pound the felling wedge into a cut in order to keep the wood from shifting and pinching your chainsaw.

Do not, under any circumstances, confuse a splitting wedge with a felling wedge!

A splitting wedge is made out of steel. You use it to split wood by pounding it with a maul or the blunt side of a heavy axe.

A felling wedge is typically made out of plastic or some kind of composite material. You do not want to get your chainsaw anywhere near a steel splitting wedge!

Many years ago, when I was younger and dumber (but better looking, ha ha) I was at a job site and needed a felling wedge but only had a steel splitting wedge. I told myself I would be really careful with my saw, and just keep it away from the splitting wedge that I used to keep the log from snapping closed. Well, the saw jerked around a bit and kissed that steel wedge, and all hell broke loose.

The saw kicked back viciously, just about tore my arm off, and the chain broke and whipped around and sliced my face open. Lesson learned, I never did that again!

What I Recommend

So what do I recommend? And why?

Let me tell you what I look for. This seems pretty basic, but I can save you some time by pointing out these basics…

1) Color

The nature of these felling wedges means they are constantly getting stuck between logs, dropped down under logs, or if you’re unlucky shot across a field. I prefer day-glo orange for this reason.

Pretty much any wedge will be a high-visibility color – neon green, or yellow, etc. But I’ve had the most luck with orange.

2) Size

There are two common sizes, a 5.5″ and an 8″. I like to carry both. Sometimes the 5.5″ isn’t quite big enough, and sometimes the 8″ is too big.

Plus I like to carry several of both. These things are cheap, and I don’t want to hike (or drive) to some job site and need another wedge and not have one.

3) USA

Ya’ll know I’d prefer to buy something made in the USA if I can. It’s not an absolute requirement, but why not buy American if you can. Unless you’re reading this as a resident of a foreign country. In which case, why not buy local if you can?

These are the felling wedges I use:

To check Amazon’s latest prices on these Cold Creek wedges- CLICK HERE

These wedges are made here in the US by Cold Creek. They are built pretty tough, and are a good bargain. They come with a little drawstring pouch, which I care nothing about. I use a felling wedge pouch like this one. I guess I will do a separate article sometime on a good pouch I recommend.

How to Convert A Lightswitch to an Outlet

I know many visitors to my site expect me to stick to Chainsaws. But as it turns out, folks treat me more or less like a handyman, and I field a wide variety of questions.

One question I get a lot:

How do I convert a lightswitch to an electrical outlet?

Or:

Jeff, how do I add an electrical outlet?

Electricians are expensive, and I try not to hire one unless I really have to. As it turns out, adding an electrical outlet can be pretty simple under certain situations, and you may not have to spend the money on an electrician.

I recently wired in a new outlet for my neighbor down the street. They had a unique situation. The husband received a 3D printer from the wife for Christmas, and was enjoying using it as a new hobby. But after a few weeks of having it sitting and operating on the table in their dining room, they were wanting to find a more appropriate home for it.

They had a closet off the main hall that had plenty of room. It had some shelves in it and was rarely used. It did have an overhead light with a lightswitch, but it did not have an electrical outlet.

That closet made it very easy for me.

This is what you need…

To check Amazon’s latest pricing, >>>CLICK HERE<<<

Note this method won’t work if you don’t have a neutral wire supplied to the existing light switch.

My suggestions and tips:

1) Turn off the breaker that supplies power to the existing room/light switch.
2) Use a voltage detector or multimeter to make sure the switch doesn’t have power running to it and is safe to work on. Don’t have one? Click here.
3) Pull the switch out of the switch box, and disconnect the wires from the switch.
4) You will probably have two black hot wires (one is line, one is load), and a bare copper ground wire.
5) If you’re lucky, in the back of the box you’ll find a white neutral wire. This usually isn’t being used unless you already have some kind of smart switch installed. If this isn’t present, this method won’t work for you.
6) Figure out which of the black wires is your line wire, and wire it into the appropriate spot on your new switch/receptacle combo.
7) Same thing for your load wire, and your neutral wire. The directions provided with the new switch will tell you which terminal is which.
8) For the neutral wire that you fish out of the back of the box, just take the wire nut off and add a short (maybe 3 inch) pigtail, put the wire nut back on, and wire that pigtail into the correct terminal in the new switch.
9) Depending on what you ordered, you can make the new outlet switched (i.e. it only has power when you turn the light switch on) or continuous. The outlet will have a little bridge bar that you’ll have to remove if you don’t want it to have power continuously.
10) After you screw the new switch to the outlet box, turn the breaker back on and test both the switch and the receptacle to make sure they are getting power and work properly.

Don’t mess around with this if you don’t know electrical basics, as you don’t want to electrocute yourself or create a fire hazard.

That’s my quick/easy method for adding a receptacle to any room that has a light switch!

Let me know if you have questions.

Chainsaw Sharpening Guide – How to do it | Tools I recommend

I am a little ashamed to admit this, but for a long time I would use a chain until it got too dull to cut, and I would throw it away.

I had tried sharpening my own chain before, but wasn’t satisfied with the results.

Taking it to a shop to have it done seemed like a bad option. The guy quoted me $6-$8 per chain to sharpen them. But I have to drive over there, leave them, then drive back to pick them up. When you look at what that costs including gas and wear and tear on my vehicle, I’d rather just spend $10 and buy a new chain!

But throwing them away is wasteful, and I regret all those years and all those chains.

Sharpening them yourself isn’t that hard when a) you know how, and b) you have the right tools.

Plus, now instead of using them until they are frustratingly dull, I will sharpen them pretty much after every use, even if it’s just a small tweak, and even if they aren’t in terrible shape. That means a lot less frustration, and a lot less downtime.

DIY Guide

If you’ve never done this before (or even if you’ve had some practice), here’s how I do it…

1. Pick your file size

I always use round files for sharpening. They do make square files, but that’s a topic for another day.

You’ll have to match your file size with your chain size. The most common sizes of chainsaw files are 5/32, 3/16 and 7/32. If you aren’t sure, check your owner’s manual. You can also look on the back of the box if you bought a replacement chain.

2. Disconnect

For the sake of safety, you should disconnect the chainsaw from its power source.

If it’s a battery chainsaw, you would not want to start sharpening the chain with the battery installed. Of course it would be unlikely that you somehow accidentally turn it on, but trust me you want to finish this up with all ten of your fingers working, so just remove the battery.

If it’s a corded chainsaw, obviously just yank the cord.

If it’s a petrol saw, you are supposed to remove the spark plug just to be 100% safe.

3. Clean it

I always take this opportunity to clean the saw and chain.

These things get dirty. If you’re like me, you make some serious chips fly, and they stick to and clog up everything.

Taking five minutes will get you a long way toward making sure your sharpening efforts are successful, and your saw is ready for it’s next use.

Undo the covers and knock the debris out. Check your bar oil. Check your chain tension. Check your air filter if you have one. I will typically even scrape out the bar groove etc.

4. Set the file/guide

You are probably going to use a little fixture/jig for the file. It acts as a guide so that you get the right angle when you’re filing the teeth. I’ll have a few recommendations a little ways down the page.

Your guide will have various angles, but 30 degrees is the most common.

5. Clamp

I’ve done this before without clamping, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Most kits are going to come with either a bar holder for a bench vise that will work if you’re sharpening in your garage or workshop, or in a stump vise if you’re still at the job site and sharpening there. I’ve also seen tailgate vises.

6. File the first side/direction

I mark where I’m starting on the chain. That way you’ll know when you’ve made a full revolution – nobody wants to waste their time by filing twice.

Then file from the inside of the tooth to the outside of the tooth. The tip of the file is always going to point away from the chainsaw motor.

You will hold the file at 90 degrees to the flat guide bar and then move it at a 30 degree angle to the straight line of the chain. The guide you set up in step 4 will help you.

You file every other tooth along the chain from the first direction, and then you switch and do the same thing (hitting the teeth you skipped) from the other direction.

I usually sharpen 2 or 3 teeth, then release the chain brake and rotate the chain a little bit as I move along.

7. Reverse

After you’ve done that first side, flip the saw in your vice, re-clamp it, and do the other side.

Note – you are only going to file/sharpen on the “push” stroke. Files don’t file on the return stroke. It just doesn’t work that way, it will grab and you’ll get frustrated.

8. Depth gauges

Once you’re done filing/sharpening the cutting teeth, use the gauge included in your kit to check the depth gauge teeth on your chain. If they are too tall, which can happen as your cutting teeth wear and you file them down to sharpen them, then your chain will take off tiny little specks as you cut next time and it will take you forever.

So check the depth with the gauge, and use the flat file to shorten them if needed. These don’t require as much attention as sharpening the cutting teeth, but I always check them every time because it only takes a few extra minutes and you’re already right there ready to do the work.

That’s it!

Gear

First of all, you are going to want to wear gloves. Farting around with these chains is a good way to slice your fingers and hands up. There is a certain amount of dexterity needed to get this job done, and gloves will tend to hamper that, but it’s not worth the risks to go without gloves.

You can go cheap, you can nice, or you can go really nice.

My cheap recommendation is to get a manual kit like this Oregon.

Here’s my reasoning…

First, I like that it’s a “brand name”. Oregon has been in the game for a while. They have a good reputation, and you know their stuff isn’t crap, even though it’s around $20.

Second, I like that it comes in a pouch. It’s too easy to lose this stuff if it’s just loose and bouncing around in your truck or a box somewhere.

Third, this has all the common round file sizes, the flat file you need for depth, a handle for the files, and an angle gauge.

My middle of the road recommendation, if you are willing to spend a little more money, is to add an electric tool.

This Sharp Pebble tool is 120 volt, so it will plug in to any standard garage outlet.

It makes sharpening the teeth a lot more repeatable and goes maybe 50% to 75% faster.

And if you want to go all out, and get the nicest tool around, I would get the fully automatic Temco…

There’s a pretty good video on the Amazon page if you want to check it out.

These things are pricey, but when I say fully automatic, I mean this thing does everything but tie your shoelaces for you.

I use a basic kit plus an electric tool, but I stopped by one of the local saw shops to try one of these Temco’s out last week. It is really cool, and does a fantastic job. I am definitely considering buying my own.

So there you go, all of my recommendations as well as my pathetic confession! If you have any questions, just let me know and I’m happy to try and help.