By Paul Turner
In my opinion a good Sawhorse/Log holder Primarily achieves two things, It makes the job of making firewood Easier and Safer. This sawhorse achieves both of these ideals.
The design is simple yet intelligent and a case of why didn’t someone think of this before? The clamping design is protected by patents 1018700.3 and PCT/GB2011/052018
It comes in disassembled form in a box. I assembled it from scratch in 42minutes using the tools provided in the package, these tools are adequete and its a good thing they are provided but if you have quality tools of your own including power tools with appropriate torque settings I imagine I could have built it in around 15 minutes now I know how it goes . The instructions are not the clearest, I would of preferred lego style photo diagrams. This is only a minor gripe as you will only likely build it once.
Like several other designs I’ve seen it scores because you only lift the log at one end at a time. This is truly a capable one person sawhorse. As you lift the log up and over, not up and in through a clamp, it is quick and easy compared to other designs. The manufacturer says it will take logs up to 400KG, a testimony to its strength in build quality and surprising for how light it is. I have once lifted a log I could barely manage, not likely to ever lift that much again. In practice with a long length its not that difficult to put a much heavier piece on than you may do in a conventional horse that supports both ends of the timber….consider using the leverage available over a long piece.
It is a large log horse not a brash holder. The recommended diameter is 100-360mm (4-14inches). I would suggest you buy a horse designed for your wood size as if this is not the regular diameter you expect to cut, then this is not the one to buy. Other sawhorses are available for this purpose from forest master and other manufacturers. However if this is your size it is excellent to use. If you wish to use smaller logs there is a smaller version based on the same principles which is lighter and cheaper.
This model needs a level surface firm enough to take the weight intended as it only has 2 long flat feet, which prevent sinking into soft ground.
The chain mechanism has never slipped on me yet. It is effective and simple to load, more fiddly to release but because the log piece remaining is small it can just be knocked off so both hands are free to deal with the chain. I tend to take the chain off completely to make it quicker to load again. On occasions you cannot get the log as high or level as you may like, it still works well and the trade off would be a smaller chain link that wouldn’t work as well in other ways.
The toothed V holder coupled with the chain clamp in my experience completely eradicates log spin and nipping of the chainsaw bar, the hold is firm and positive. You hang around a 1/3 of your timber over the chain side of the V and the rest at the other side. Which creates a downwards thrust tightening the chain on the other side of the V. Starting at the longer side cutting logs until you have cut less than a third, (If you cut too much the log will tip up to the wrong end)then go to the smaller overhang end cutting as far as the clamping zone. Then finish off the rest. The only log that size is governed is the last piece in the clamp which realistically needs to be 8-10 inches 20-25cm to avoid the Chainsaw fouling the metal components. In use for best practice keep the saw body positively bumped up to the log to prevent swaying, snagging and jolting which could upset the holder and a be danger to the user. Severely bent tree limbs don’t work well if the log direction veers away from the holder towards or away from the operator due to balance. Best to cut at the bend in the log instead then load two pieces separately.
When you have finished using it you release 2 R clips from 2 pins and it folds flat. At 1.3metres in length it should go in some car boot spaces and no problem in vans etc. It only weighs around 11KG and can hang like lightweight steps on a wall hook.
To some it may seem an expensive outlay at around £100.(see the Forest-Master.com website for the range and distributors). There are different versions of this design at various prices so you can choose what suits, but if you had to bend over and saw on the floor this will save a lot of backache. Plus fouling or damaging the chain with foreign objects, leading to resharpening which is a time waster when not necessary. Also logs on the floor jam the saw from time to time.
I really recommend this to home firewood producers and tree surgeons that log up on site for customers or to take away, even if only a part of the timber can be done with this tool.
All in all an excellent simple bit of kit for a quicker, easier and safer logging session, once you are accustomed to the required working techniques. I’m 5 foot 10 and sometimes feel could benefit from it being a couple of inches higher or telescopically adjustable in height and if the chain release had some sort of quick release it would be even better. You can however with practice release the chain by pulling it away and downwards from the locking slot.
This is a worthy piece of clever engineering for your kit if you cut your own firewood or log trees up in your line of work. Although it wont obviously save or make you lots of money you will never know how many bad backs and saw damage downtime you will save. Taking into account longer sessions due to easy working position, It should recoup its outlay quite quickly. I started to cut logs on the floor the other day and soon gave up. I much prefer to use a sawhorse now.