Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Chainsaw ROI

Perhaps 4 or 5 times this summer we have been slammed with high winds and/or thunderstorms. And with all these old, massive trees everywhere, branches (or entire trees) are always getting knocked down.

In fact I recently had to hire an enterprising guy with a chainsaw from Craigslist when the landscapers/professionals asked my MIL for $400 to cut up (and chip) our fallen trees.

I asked the chainsaw guy how much it would cost and he couldn't/wouldn't answer because he needed to see the trees first, obviously.

I suggested that I email him a idea that flabbergasted him for its *brilliance*.

Anyways, I got him here and he did the job in an hour for $100. (I told him he only had to cut and I would take care of moving the wood.)

Even before he came I was thinking how I should probably buy my own chainsaw on account of these frequent summer storms - and put my own phone number up on Craigslist after the next thunderstorm.

Though apparently there's a lot of *science* to properly using and maintaining these saws; there's so-called dirty wood to avoid; they break a lot; it can be very dangerous; etc.

Now, living in a less-urban area, there's probably no play here. Most likely everyone has a chainsaw or access to one - AND, no one is going to pay someone $100 to make a few cuts with one.

But in the NYC area *investments* like this are aplenty and constitute careers for thousands of local hustlers.

The guy I used told me he landed a week's worth of work for his $400 chainsaw from some old lady during the tornado. Then I hired him....and while we were finishing up in the backyard my neighbor came over and hired him on the spot to cut up one of his trees.

I'm SURE he reports all this income to the taxing authorities too!

Even if I don't want to become a local lumberjack, I could, minimally, just buy one and do a couple of jobs to essentially own a saw for free. Another man-tool like this that has a rental value and is good to own might be a power-washer.

To see my what my $100 job looked like, visit - Re-Energized!.

Also see - Idiots Chasing A Tornado.


Anonymous said...

u r just joking when u say he reports to tax right ?

is that tax free cash ?

Anne Galivan said...

Chainsaws ARE dangerous but I'm pretty sure you will figure your way around one pretty quick.

We live in a neighborhood but it is essentially 100 houses in the middle of the woods. My husband cleared every one of the 80 ft. trees we removed to build our house (also used a backhoe - he used to operate them for a living so had no problem with that either). Only had one tree land on the power lines :P and thankfully I don't think it was during an FSU football game. We left more than half of our two acres as woods. Very pretty. But yes, lots of branches falling down, lots of trees that inevitably die and need to be removed. So the chainsaw gets a workout. The biggest hassle is the chain getting stretched when doing a lot of cutting. Have heard him muttering many times while tightening a chain.

We have a generator that he has set up to wire into the house also because of frequent outages due to branches falling on lines. *Not to be done by just anyone* It can be very dangerous but having been in the building industry for 36 years more or less he can do pretty much anything involved with electric, building, etc.

Anonymous said...

Go to There is a forum specifically for chainsaws where you can learn all you ever will need to know. Personally, a Husqvarna 346xp should do all you ever need it to. Learn how to sharpen with a file and nothing should stop you.

CaptiousNut said...


Another fallen tree; another *tree guy* that asked for $400.

So I bought a chainsaw - 18 inch Echo - for $300.

Scared to death to use it. Well the manual is scaring me with all its warnings and disclaimers.