Earn Money Using Inexpensive Electric Chainsaw to Help Clear Storm Damage

Harbour Freight Portland Chainsaw

The summer storm season has arrived and throughout the nation tornadoes, hurricanes and even violent thunderstorms will bring down trees and shrubs that will need clearing from people’s yards. One way to earn money is by helping people who cannot do it themselves remove the debris. This can start with hand tools such as axes, knives and hand saws about which I have previous videos and supplemented these hand tools with an inexpensive Portland Chainsaw from Harbor Freight.

I tested this chainsaw on a freshly fallen pecan limb (relative of the hickory tree) that fell in my back yard that was close enough to the house for two extension cords to reach. In the video below I describe how I successfully worked limbs up to 6-inches in diameter with this saw. This is some serious cutting, but the saw was up to it. The electric chainsaw has limitations. The first is the amount of extension cord that must be used to reach the tree to be cut. This needs to be heavy duty two-wire cord, not the usual household extension cord intended for lights. The limit of the size of limbs that might be managed by the saw’s 14-inch blade is limited.  Although you will likely not be able to cut, say a 12-inch trunk with that saw, you can successfully remove the limbs and leafy branches so that a professional tree-removal outfit will have much less trouble and charge less for working the tree.

Obviously you need to have power restored to work the saw, otherwise you are running off generator power which adds more costs and expense. The saw engine will pull a lot of power, and I do not know what power generator would be necessary to run it. In any rate I think that you need the homeowner to furnish the power. Using a combination of hand tools and the electric saw is the best approach. Save the saw for when you need to cut stuff that is 2-inches and larger, and use hand tools to work the 1-inch and smaller material. This way you will be able to still get work done while giving the saw a chance to cool off between cuts. Working the saw to the point of melt-down is counter productive. Also, you will need to make sure that you lubricate it often. I use mineral oil as a lube because I also occasionally use my saw to dress game animals.

Even more significant that cutting the fallen limbs is getting hung-up limbs down to a safe position before starting to work on them. In the example given in the video I pull it down with a nylon rope and my truck. I have a detachable winch for my truck which I might have used, but it was easier just to make a pull of a few hundred pounds with the truck than worry about installing and uninstalling the winch or rigging up a snatch block or tripod to get the limb on the ground. Another caution given in the video is to remove the limbs as you cut so that you do not stumble in the fallen limbs with the chainsaw.  Fortunately with the electric chainsaw it stops when you release the trigger and safely lever, but you do not want to fall on a sharp freshly cut branch either. This would be like taking a spear thrust in the torso or leg.Pay attention to what you are doing, plan things out and go slow and all will be well.

With you furnishing the saw and cords, a truck and stuff to pull things around and stacking the material at the curb, this kind of work would be $20 an hour in rural markets and more in metro areas. Now is the time to get your materials together and practice on your own.

One final caution. If you decide to get some help, only one person cuts on a branch at the time. Ultimately, the branch will shift as the weight-bearing limbs are removed. One person can see this movement start and step out of danger, but if more than one person is cutting on the branch an unexpected rotation of a major limb weighing hundreds of pounds can catch you by surprise.

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