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chain saws vs. k-12 saws for pitched roof ventilation

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  • chain saws vs. k-12 saws for pitched roof ventilation

    i am trying to get my captaain to buy some chain saws for performing ventilation on pitched roofs. I believe the are benificial becuase they are quicker for performing there operation and getting off the roof quicker. he believes that the k-12 saw is safer any suggestions?

  • #2
    I would have to say that the Chainsaws are a lot more safe then K-12s. I look at it from the aspect of being able to stop the blade, and as you know (unless there is something new out there) there is no way to stop the blade of the K-12 saw. The chainsaws we use have a lever right next to your hand that will shut down the blade immediately if engaged. I found this very useful recently when we had an attic fire and I was standing on 2 floor joists opening up a wall. My foot slipped and I went through the dry wall of the floor beneath me. When I was falling I hit the bar lock and thank God I did because the blade ended up sitting on my leg when I stopped. That is why I like the chain saw but the K-12 is also good and has its place, but I would consider it at all safe. Ryan

    62 Engine 67 Truck ... The Pride of the West Side


    • #3
      For us, chainsaws are the weapon of choice when doing roof ventilation. A K-12/XL-98 will do the job, but the chainsaw is lighter and more manuverable. We use 16" Craftsman chainsaws, bought from Sears for about $150 each -- we got tired of repairing our Echo vent saws. Just keep sharp blades on them and they work fine. We still carry several of the circular rescue saws, but mostly use them for cutting metal (like fences around apartments & burglar bars).


      • #4
        K-12's weight also can be a factor to consider. Chainsaw's are lighter and make those high peeked roofs easier to vent...


        • #5
          I would have to go with the chainsaw with the special angled blade. But most of the time the saws don't like to work when you get them on the roof so give me an axe and I'll go to town.

          The statements above are my own opinions

          FF Greg Grudzinski
          Oaklyn Fire Dept.
          Station 18-3


          • #6
            Chain saw will win in my book every time. K-12's are good for trench ventilation of a mall or warehouse but as far as pitched roof they are not as safe.

            Chain saws for the fire service can come equipted with a depth gauge. K-12 does not to my knowledge. Chain saws have emergency stops.

            The bottom line is do you want to have to carry and operate a 20-30 pound K-12 two floors or three floors up when you can use a 10-15 pound chain saw.

            There are some departments that use a circular saw, like a Craftsman. Very light. No fuel mixtures to mess with and if there is a problem just unplug it. It is quick, efficent and safe.


            FIrefighters are the chosen people.

            My views do not reflect that of my department or the United States Air Force


            • #7
              There is a more recent post on this topic but doesn't anyone use an axe anymore?

              Glen Bordas

              [This message has been edited by RescueCoFireman (edited 12-27-2000).]


              • #8
                I have to agree with my brothers. I have always preferred the chainsaw over the k-12 for peaked roof ventilation, and any other type of saw needing ventilation/operation that a chainsaw is feasible. I have used everything from Stihl's, Cutter's Edge, and Craftsman. But I have to honestly say that overall I have always liked the Echo Quickvent. While the first couple of them we had, we experienced some minor problems with breakage (mostly with the braking mechinism)the newer models we have had no problems with. It is light, easy to handle, and the guide bar on the bottom of the saw prevents some of the senior guys, and the rookies from digging into the roofs deeper than necessary. Solving the problem of trusses. I have never run into anyone in my career who thought the K-12 was safer. Its heavy, had no blade brake, and from my experience, is harder to train firefighters to use it effectively. I have had 8 years of experience on a ladder truck, and 9 times out of 10...its the chainsaw.

                The above are my thoughts and opinions only, and do not reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.


                • #9
                  I would prefer a chain saw over a K-12 any day on a pitched roof. Especially the cutters edge. It is made specifically for firefighting. If you have the money purchase one of these babies. It's pretty expensive but worth it in the long run.

                  Fishers Fire Dept.
                  Local 416


                  • #10
                    Build a roof simulator. Use both saws give them both an honest test. If you use the partner K950 saw with a 24 tooth carbide tip blade vs. a chain saw with a bullet chain, you will see that the K950 will cut faster and in the end you will be off the roof quicker. in this day with the light weight construction we need to spend as little time on roofs as possible. You will also find that if you are cutting through more than one roof the chain saw will start to bog down due to the excess tar. I will tell you that the K950 is heavier than the chain saw. The only way for you to make a true decision is to have a vender from both companies come out and make a head to head comparison.


                    • #11
                      My department uses the chainsaw for pitched roof ventilation. It is easier to use with the angled blade and depth gauge, and safter with the bar lock, compared to the K-12. The K-12 is still useful and has many applications, just not pitched roofs.

                      **The preceding comments in no way represent the views of my department, its members, or associations that it may belong to.**


                      • #12
                        Chainsaws without a doubt for pitched roofs. K-12's have their place for heavier application, but not on a pitched roof.K-12's are difficult to handle at times, throw a pitch in there, and you could hae problems. Echo Quick-vent work well on pitched roofs. They are quick, easy to use, lightweight, and its easy to control depth of cut.

                        Any Opinion expressed, are my own, and do not reflect my Department...RB


                        • #13
                          Chiansaws with a carbide chain are by far the best choice for pitched roof. Chainsaws with a normal chain are virtually useless after you make contact with shingles. But if you like to swing things (safely of course) try a 10lb. shorter than normal handle sledge. It often will work better than an axe. What we did is bought a regular sledge, cut the handle to comfy working length, spiral wrapped coax cable around the handle with athletic tape,and wala you have an inexpensive very useful vent tool.


                          • #14
                            I prefer a chainsaw over the K 12 on pitched roofs for ease of use. Unfortunately a chainsaw is not much use if the roof covering is not removed. All to often we get in a hurry and cut through the shingles which gums up and dulls the blade. Then the K 12 makes it to the roof to finish the job.


                            • #15
                              Personally, I'm taking a circular saw...Partner K-650 or K-950 to be exact. They might be heavier than a chainsaw but with some practice I can get through a roof quicker. I have also found that chainsaws bog down more often then circular saws. Whichever saw I take my axe is still going with me.


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