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Electric Chain Saws November 15, 2005 5:54 PM

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November 15, 2005
Electric Chain Saws
byNeil Soderstrom

There are many reasons to buy an electric chain saw: They emit no exhaust, they are almost maintenance-free, they weigh less and they always start with just a flick of a switch. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks is their electric cord. In addition to lugging the cord around, cord pliability is dramatically reduced in temperatures below 40 degrees.

Its also important to use the correct gauge of cord because maximum cord length is dictated by a saws amperage rating. Most outdoor circuits are 15-amp, and cords lose amperage the longer they run from the source. Under load, saw motors overheat unless the cord is of sufficient gauge and shortness to maintain sufficient amperage. Saws rate in the 7- to 12-amp range can work at distances up to 150 feet, with a specified cord. But some saws rated 15 amps or higher need a gauge of 12 for just 50 feet.

Double check that the length and gauge of your cord meets your saws requirements. Outdoor-rated cords are round-jacketed and stamped with a suffix of W or W-A, for Wet or Wet-Applications, as in SJTW or SJTW-A.

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