on May 24, 2011
High Limb CS-48 Rope-and-Chain Saw. In theory, this was an answer to a problem that we had in our back yard after a winter snow storm. Due to the weight of the snow, an upper limb snapped and fell, breaking a lower limb of the tree in the fall. The lower limb, while broken, remained attached. This limb was attached approximately 30 feet from the ground, too high for a chainsaw and the ladder that we had on the premises. The High Limb CS-48 Rope-and-Chain Saw available on Amazon appeared to be the answer. Pricing was reasonable, and it arrived in a few days after purchase. The packaging and the instructions were a little vague on the details as to how to use this product absolutely. There were a few caveats to be careful about listed, but mostly it was sell copy. It relies mostly on the purchaser to figure out how to use this. I will point out, however, that the patented device that automatically turns the chain saw to the cutting blade was virtuely useless.
The results speak for themselves. We followed the instructions, as listed, and were able to thread the throwing rope over the limb. The patented devise did not work as advertised, and thus we struggled for a while to get the cutting side of the blade sawing on the wood. Finally, we got the blade turned and started sawing. Within a short time, the blade got stuck and it required approximately an hour to get it freed. Where upon, we had to begin the entire process over again. Inspite of all of our best efforts, and religiously following the instructions and a great knowledge of how to use tools, the saw got stuck again, this time for good. We were able to get the limb down by resorting to twisting the limb around until it finally snapped and fell to the ground, which was a particularly dangerous thing to do, but worked out. The High Limb CS-48 Rope-and-Chain Saw is now a permanent part of the tree, as it would be virtually impossible to free it and not worth the danger of climbing up on an extremely tall ladder to retrieve it.
The moral is that we spent approximately $40 for a devise that proved to be useless, not as advertised and now a permanent part of our back yard tree, and due to it's present location was not available to be returned to the vendor as defective.
on March 17, 2012
Just finished using my second rope chain saw in two weeks so that I could retrieve my first rope chain saw wedged 50 feet up in a giant cottonwood I am trying to remove without spending the grand, hurting myself or flattening one of my neighbors garages about 70 feet away. It works great cutting through 12 inch diameter soft wood 50 to75 feet up just as long as you plan ahead. From my experience I offer the following: Ditch the yellow ropes for something much more substantial. Use the supplied rope for intended purpose like holding the bumpers on your boat. They fail early and you end up on your butt. Breaks at the crimp fittings or at the chain grommet. Put a bolen knot thru the grommet on a good rope to retain and it will last plenty of cuts. Trash the red throw bag except for the lowest tosses. Use a small dedicated throw rope/ nylon string. I went with a circular shaped padlock to throw...much better for making it back down through the foliage and less likely to hang up during retrival...downside it could probably kill you if it hits you coming down. If I were selling the product I would supply the red shot bag to stay out of court...but don't expect it to work for all trees..Trying to use the rope chain saw solo will guarantee failure. It will jam instantly. The instructions imply it will work but from my experience with big diameter limbs you need to get the rope angles out to maybe 45 deg or greater. Get the rythm going for the two pullers and the cutting goes quite quickly. Also for branches angled up at say 60 deg., try to get your cutting angles going through the limb at least at 30 deg rather than straight down. That means standing off to side with both the 45 vertical positioning and maybe 30 deg lateral positioning to the chain cutting entry point. For me this thing works well for my purpose once I made some modifications and understood it's operation.
on December 31, 2011
This is a great tool. I had to cut down a 70' tall maple tree that was near my house.
I topped it off first using this tool and longer ropes.
I wanted to top it off first before cutting it down to avoid the tree hitting my home.
It worked as described. Be sure to oil up the saw before each cut.
on September 10, 2007
I had different difficulties than some of those cited. The first was getting the bean bag over the branch---mine were very high...but with patience I got it. Then, the bag would not drop...so I had to repeatedly slack the line to get it to inch down. Once in place it worked great---no problem getting it to be on the cutting side and it sawed very very quickly.
This is one handy puppy, but you need to be patient to have it work for you
on August 5, 2013
There didn't seem to be a way around a frustrating dilemma. Our neighbors had allowed their Chinese elm tree to overwhelm our entire back yard. It was 40 feet up and 50 feet over the property line, and shading everything in sight, making it almost impossible to grow anything but weeds. For three years after we bought the house, we tried in vain to solve the problem. Our property was fenced and heavily landscaped, so getting a bucket lift in was out of the question, and no ladder in the world would have been safe enough, the way the limbs were growing. It really seemed hopeless.
Then, we happened upon an ad for the High Limb rope saw, and suddenly, the problem seemed a little less unsolvable. We read all the reviews, studied the online instructions, and took the plunge. It always seems like the simplest tools have the highest learning curves, and this was no exception. In theory, there's nothing to it. You toss the rope over a limb, make sure the teeth are down, and saw away. In actual practice, it can take hours until the saw is properly aligned and the actual sawing begins. Once you have the technique down pat, it's smooth sailing, but the waters can still be treacherous.
The most important rule of all when using this device is "Don't Die." Even with experience, you can never be 100% certain where or how the limb will come down. Even a small portion of a big tree is heavy, and it isn't always possible to position the blade where you'd like. Limbs fork. Rough bark can flip the blade. And, of course, it can always get stuck. Never -- as in never EVER -- put yourself in harm's way. When it comes to falling tree limbs, gravity is not your friend.
Things happen. In a more perfect world, you would always have the correct cutting angle. Sadly, the tree doesn't always cooperate, and you have a couple hundred pounds of angry wood precariously suspended by a tiny little stubborn remnant, the weight of the soon-to-be log now pinching the heck out of your rope saw. It always pays to have a line or two attached to the limb well above the cut, for just such an emergency. You can usually take the weight off the blade, and work it loose.
There's also no substitute for having a spare High Limb handy. Trust me, you'll want two of these. Just the confidence that comes from knowing you have a backup plan can keep you from having to implement it. It's a chainsaw blade, and you sharpen it accordingly, but it's still really nice to have an extra one available. Keep the teeth sharp and clean. A dull saw is a dangerous saw.
Other than staying alive while using it, the second hardest part is getting the line over the right limb. If you have a great throwing arm, the tree isn't too dense, and the distance isn't too extreme, the beanbags might actually work. I quickly tired of trying to justify their existence, and went for a more direct, if somewhat creative approach.
Imagination is a big plus, here. My personal preference is for tying a rope to a one-gallon ice cream bucket and hoisting it up with a "Mr. Longarm" extension pole, with a duct taped grappling hook fixed to the end. Others have come up with far more creative methods, including using fly-fishing tackle, or a remote-controlled helicopter. Whatever works. Just get it over any way you can. If the beanbags work for you, go for it.
It goes without saying, that the rope can always be lengthened. Just tie additional lines to the ends. Make sure your backup plan will still cover the extra length. The nylon hand loops included in the kit are great, but if you're doing any extensive work, wear gloves. Pliable kid skin leather rancher's gloves work really well.
HIGH limbs aren't the only ones this saw will tackle. It also works really well when there is little or no access for a regular saw blade. It can fit into places no other saw could ever reach.
I wouldn't be without this sensational and essential tool. We have a lot of trees to keep safe and healthy. Thanks to the High Limb CS-48, the neighbor's brittle and diseased old "widow-maker" isn't one of them.
on May 15, 2011
This device is a standard chainsaw chain (cuts one side only!) attached to a standard poly rope. The small metal bar meant to flip it over so "cut" side is down is a joke. If you want the frustration of using a one sided chain, save yourself a good part of the 50 bucks and buy your own chain and rope and have at it. For the money I would have thought that this thing would cut on BOTH sides -- it's very hard to get the single cutting side facing down so that it will in fact cut. Also, as stated in other reviews, the clip that holds the sandbag is very flimsy.
ADDED: I actually got the thing to work the next day. At that point I was thinking "give it another shot, otherwise it's 50 bucks down the drain", so I was prepared to fiddle with it. If you drag the metal flipper bar back and forth over the limb it will eventually flip the chain over (takes maybe 4-5 tries) so that the cut-side is correctly positioned. I did get it stuck as other people have reported, one thing to remember in getting it unstuck is to pull in such a way that the beanbag doesn't get pulled up and over the limb and then get caught and ripped. I did get the line caught in the kerf. I bought some 1" pvc piping (it comes in 10' lengths and is quite cheap) and used that to push the wedged line up and out, otherwise I'd have a tree permanently decorated with a red sandbag and yellow poly-rope as others have reported.
In retrospect I'd give this product 2.5 stars: the cons are that it's a one sided blade and the sandbag clip is flimsy (cut it off and tie the rope to the bag), also the thing takes some practice to use. But you can get it to work if you're patient and there aren't many other practical alternatives.
on October 9, 2011
This is the second saw I have purchased. I never had a problem in flipping the bean bag over a limb as I was a slow pitch softball pitcher. However, if you would purchase an inexpensive fishing sinker release mechanism, sold at most fishing tackle stores and tape it to a long pole or a golf ball telescoping pole used for retrieving golf balls, you do not have to be accurate. Just attach 30 lb monofilament line to one end of saw line. Tie a sinker say around 4 ounces to the end of the mono. Attach a trip line to your sinker release mechanism and you are good to go. Just move the sinker over the limb you wish to cut down, pull the trip line and the sinker will drop taking the mono down with it. Then use the mono to pull the saw's heavier line over the limb. The saw works much better if you keep a small jar of oil handy such that you can soak the chain in oil. It really does matter much what oil you use, as almost any grade of inexpensive car engine oil will work fine. The saw will dull with time so you should periodically sharpen it. If you do not know how, take it to a chain saw shop. Once you start a cut, hold your ground; if you start to move all over the place the saw can and will bind in its kerf. Most of the reviews I have read which were negative were due to the faulty use of this fine tool. It was never designed to replace a professional tree removal team with high lifts, but it will take down substantial sized limbs. While I hate to recommend this to amateurs, you could use your drop sinker pole to place additional lines over limbs above the limb you wish to remove. Then simply use your drop sinker pole to attach these additional lines to the limb you wish to remove. Once the limb is cut free, it can than be lowered to the ground safely using your additional lines. Last point, no matter how small a limb looks up in the tree, it always looks a lot bigger after you get it on the ground; be careful.
on February 9, 2012
I've owned several of these over the last 10 years and so I consider myself somewhat of an expert in their use. I've used it to de-limb several large oak trees that were approx 3' at the base and I didn't have room to fell the entire tree in one piece. I've cut several limbs up to 10" in diameter. Saved hundreds of dolars over having to call a tree service.
There are two keys to using this product sucessfully: First is that it works much better with two people, one on each end of the rope and standing further apart so that the angle is not pulling straight down. As many have noted the saw is notorious for getting pinched by the branch when it starts to sag. The problem is that with one person you are basically cutting the top and both sides of the limb and when it sags it pinches the saw on both sides. If you have two people standing further apart the saw cuts more of the top than on the sides eliminating much of the pinching problem. I'll generally start the cut by myself and if I feel it starting to get tight, call in the second person.
The other key, especially with two people is to try and keep the same cutting angle. If you move in a straight plane with the cut, moving away from the limb you are OK. But if you start moving laterally the chains want to cut in a slightly different direction causing binding.
Typically if I'm cutting a big limb I will go ahead and throw another rope over the limb further out from where the cut is made. That way I can always pull on the limb and perhasp break it off prior to the chain getting pinched and possibly damaged.
With the above said I sometimes get impatient and ignore my own advice and try to do it by myself. I've gotten the saw stuck 6" into 10" tree limb where it wouldn't move. I generally keep a couple of pieces of 3/4" pvc pipe around so if the saw gets stuck I thread the rope end (the one opposite the weight) through the pvc pipe, pull the rope tight and "walk" the pvc pipe up the rope to the saw and then use the rigidity of the pipe to punch and lift the chain out of the cut.
on November 15, 2011
Just want to say the saw is a decent tool for the money with some caveats: 1. The weight bag is practically useless and you'll want to send the whole thing back if you try using it. Instead, I used a baseball or tennis ball that I wrapped masonry line around (tape it with duct tape). I then would throw the ball, with line attached over the branch. Your aim will be much better with a ball and you can throw much higher. Then tie the masonry line to the rope chain and pull chain over branch. This is an extra step but well worth the effort. For really high branches, I used fishing line since the masonry line would drag on the ball too much. 2. Definitely add some extra weight on the "weight bar" doing this will "right" the saw blade much quicker. I taped a flattened piece of bracket to the weight bar and this did fine but some washers would work as well. 3. The metal clips that bind the rope loop for the chain are real weak and the rope will end up slipping out of the clips leaving you with your chain stuck high up in a tree! I ended up just tying the rope in a knot. 4. If your chain does get stuck (and this tends to happen more on branches that grow on a steeper angle i.e closer to vertical, to the trunk) throw one end of the rope chain back over the branch and pull the saw back out. You may have to throw another rope around the branch and pull down on it to "open up" the cut part of the branch and free the saw. Overall this chain saw has come in real handy but it is definitely a workout. Good luck!
on October 9, 2012
I got this to cut some limbs PG&E wants me to cut that I can't reach with a pole saw or a ladder. I took it out to cut a couple of limbs that I didn't need to cut to get a feel for it. The clip that holds the weight on bent out the first throw. Secondly, the weight isn't heavy enough. It doesn't have enough momentum to get the chain to any substantial height, and it's not heavy enough to bring the chain up as it falls to the other side. After a lot of hassle, I did get my first limb cut and moved onto the next. I threw the weight up, and it got stuck in some brush. When I tried to get it out, the clip came off and the weight was stuck in the brush. Very stuck.
So I went and got a 2 1/2 lb lifting weight and tied it to my rope. It worked much better. So I cut down the limb that was holding the weight that came with this lousy product and moved onto the limb I was trying to cut when my weight got stuck. I threw it over with my 2 1/2 lifting weight, and got it just where I wanted it first try, and it came down instead of stalling with the weight that comes with it, which isn't heavy enough, and isn't made to actually stay on. I cut about halfway through the limb when the rope on one side of the chain slipped out of the cheap clip holding it on. So I pulled it out with the other side of the rope which, thankfully, didn't come out or I'd still have the chain stuck up there.
This product is cheap. I suspect they made the weight for their smaller chain, and didn't even think to realize that it wasn't enough for this larger size chain. The rope broke before I hardly used the thing, and I did not even put any muscle into it and manhandle it. This product is very nearly junk. I expected much more for the amount I paid for it. I might as well have made my own with higher quality materials for less money. It didn't even come in the packaging you see in the picture.