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Bosch mini -chainsaw? Anyone use one?

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Gwen posted on Sun, May 27, 2018 1:36 PM

I am wanting to make myself a Witco inspired bar, and have been eyeing the Bosch miniature chain saw as a potential tool. I am a small middle aged gal, so a larger chainsaw is not feasible for me. Do any of you use one- or something similar- for Witco style work? Any tips?

cy posted on Sun, May 27, 2018 7:48 PM

I have not used the mini chainsaw but a dye grinder with a few Kutzall burrs might be a better choice to get that Witco feel.


If it's the micro sized one I've been seeing posted on the facebook, I would pass on it. It looks super weak and gimmicky.
I suggest you go find a rental electric chainsaw, at Home Depot etc. they are relatively lightweight and come in different sizes. That way you could try it out without the commitment of buying, and also you can see if carving is for you or not.

Gwen posted on Mon, May 28, 2018 2:32 PM

This is the one I have in mind. I've seen one demo on youtube, and it looks to be a pretty tough little thing. The sizes that I could actually rent are frankly gonna be scary for a person my size. I weigh 100 pounds and don't have a lot of upper body strength.
I am confident about carving- have carved extensively with hand tools in the past. But for this I want that chainsaw carved look, ala Witco.


"It looks super weak and gimmicky"

Got that right.
You will burn that tool up.

Carving won't be fun with that.

BUT if you do buy it anyway come back on here and tell us how it worked or didn't.

Gwen posted on Mon, May 28, 2018 3:39 PM

So is the thing that makes this tool potentially more gimmicky than a die grinder the fact that it is cordless and will quickly run out of juice? Because die grinders are small as well.

I checked Amazon, and loads of people say it is a great little tool that cuts through stuff like butter and holds a charge well.

[ Edited by: Gwen 2018-05-28 15:42 ]


Well I'm sceptical because it's so tiny! It can't be very strong or durable. But yes, if you get it, report on how it works. How much is it?

My thinking on the rentals is, if you can find a small size, you could handle it. My friend has several Bosch electrics, from small to large. The electric saws are lighter than a gas version. I would at least go look and see what is available, maybe a 12" electric. Actually pick one up and hold it. I think you're too worried about not enough upper body strength.
It's not like you'll need to hold it over your head or anything, all carving will be with your arms hanging down I would imagine. That's how I do it...

Gwen posted on Mon, May 28, 2018 8:47 PM

I'll take your advice and at least try holding a small rental before I spring for one of these.
The big thing for me is avoiding kickback.
These little ones run about $200.
Do keep in mind that what a want to carve is the front of a bar- so strictly relief carving, not big free standing stuff. I don't need something with a great deal of power.


Is this bar a built-in, or will you be able to lay it down to work on it?

I just googled the specs on that mini Bosch, keep in mind the chain on it is less than a millimeter wide (.9mm). The witco look partially comes from the width of the cuts, probably 1/4" or so, plus they're opened up further from sanding.

Makita is the brand I was thinking of, not Bosch. Look at this one, 12" bar, which is as short as you would really want, and only weighs 9.5 lbs!
About the same price as that mini, and would last much longer and be more versatile.


That tool does not look suited for carving at all. It looks like something to trim small branches off trees and small hobbyist projects around the home. (After doing a bit of research online it really seems to be nothing more than an 'updated' jigsaw).

As 4WDtiki said, that chain is tiny. How long is it going to last before it needs resharpening or replacing? And looking at the way that it is fitted to the machine it looks like a disposable part where you have to buy the entire thing which i'm sure wouldn't be cheap.

I can understand you not wanting to use a chainsaw because of your physical size but i think you'd be much better off using an angle grinder with some sort of power carving attachment. Although some of those can be dangerous as well (ALL power tools are if not used properly or carefully), if you take things slowly, once you get the hang of how they work you'll be using them quickly, efficiently and most important of all, safely.

Sorry, no chainsaw here

Last week I picked up a new die grinder and a new angle grinder

Old ones finally gave out

Got em at harbor freight
(I know, I know, no quality)
broke em both the 1st day
2 year warranty will get me a new one any time :)

I’ll bet a good angle grinder with a couple Kutzall
dish wheels and shaping discs would do the “Witco” thing...

And a Kutzall rotary burr or 2 on a die grinder would help as well

Don’t get me wrong
Any tool can be dangerous
They can kickback
However these are lighter than a chainsaw

Cheers and good luck

Whatever you do
Be sure to post it so we can all see what you decided on and did


There are "chainsaw" wheels for angle grinders. I've been tempted, but have yet to buy one. Mainly because I have a couple of small chainsaws already. But I'm still tempted. :)

Like 4WD I have the 5012B Makita.
Starts every time, Quiet & light.
I've never had it kick back.
I had the carving bar with the small chain.
I put back on the bar it came with because
I mostly use it for straight cuts.
The more I use chisels the less I use power tools.
That said, I've had it 10 years & would buy another
if I killed it.

Can't wait to see what you make.
I made a Witco style fountain.
It was fun.

Love dat fountain sir

Gwen posted on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 12:10 PM

Sorry I didn't see some of these later responses until now.
Ok, you guys have convinced me. I will look into getting an angle grinder instead of the cute little chainsaw.

Also: have an offer to get some lessons on using a small- not mini- chainsaw next month.


Angle grinders are great, most carvers use them, but please do NOT get a chainsaw wheel for it!! Someone suggested it above, but they are deadly dangerous. Stick with the kutzall wheels that hang10 mentioned and you'll be okay.
A really good addition to the angle grinder is a router speed control unit. Lets you slow it down to any speed you want instead of either 13,000 rpm or off. Less burning and more control.
Cheap ones at Harbor freight are fine, mine has lasted years.


Good point Bill.
I tell any one who cares to listen,
"Don't bother with an angle grinder
if you don't get a controller."
All you will do is burn up sand paper.


I have to echo 4WD and Will. Get a speed control for it. I don't have one, but should have bought one years ago. They have a lot of torque and can be super dangerous because you are so much closer to the blade. I try to limit my movements while it's on. For example, if I have to move to a different position, or move to the other side of the piece I will turn it off first and let it stop spinning. I've only had one small accident with it and that was moving from a standing position to a crouching position while it was on. Bad idea.

I do have a carving blade for mine called a "Bad Blade". These are available on Amazon. It's basically a saw blade. I don't know that it's any safer than the chainsaw type wheels you can get for an angle grinder, but it's the one I've chosen. It makes less dust than the Galahad type spiked wheels. And maybe it lasts longer? Dont know for sure.

For sanding at about 50 grit I use a Kutzall brand carbide wheel that has a flatter surface than the round shaped ones.

Good luck! Please report back!

Gwen posted on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 9:39 AM

I am wondering if any of you who use an angle grinder for caring might post some photos of the work you have done? Best yet would be a video. The vids of people carving with angle grinders on youtube show people using them to make bowls and such, but nothing very detailed.
I am considering just getting myself some hand tools, but if I think I can pull off detail with an angle grinder....


"but if I think I can pull off detail with an angle grinder...."

Well you can't kind of.
The best thing for you would be to see how many different tools the good carvers have.
Or how many different tools they use for one tiki.

There is one you will find is good for the rough shaping, that's going to be the chain saw or angle grinder or both really.

THEN when you get to the finer details that might be a smaller Dremel type tool or hand tools, or both.

Guys know this because we buy ALL these tools and find out from using them what ones work and what ones don't.

A tool that you may love others might hate.
But you need good tools and that mini chain saw is not a good one.

You need to just do it, start carving.

Another good way to learn is to watch a good carver or carve along side of one.

Good luck...


In my limited experience working with a grinder, I've found it's best suited to removing and smoothing large areas, rather than doing detail work. That said, I am working with 4 & 7 inch wheels. Smaller grinders would be better suited to smaller work, of course. Personally, I like working with hand tools a lot more than power tools - even though the power tools save a LOT of time and elbow grease.


On 2018-06-08 09:39, Gwen wrote:

I am considering just getting myself some hand tools, but if I think I can pull off detail with an angle grinder....

The only way you could get detail with an angle grinder is if the tiki is 20' tall! Then the "details" would be on a large scale. A 4" disc shape doesn't fit into tight spaces or corners that a smaller carving has.
That said, it's a very useful tool. But you'll still need hand tools, i.e. chisels. Even if it's just ONE chisel. You could get waaay more detail with a single 1" or 2" flat chisel from Home Depot than you ever could with a grinder.

Gwen posted on Sat, Jun 9, 2018 12:17 PM

The only reason I haven't just gone ahead and gotten hand tools is because I am after a Witco look, and those were all done with a chain saw.... but I want to do something relatively detailed, like Witco's top of the line tiki bar....

I do think I am just gonna get some hand tools. It will be a lot more fun.

When asked,
"what do I carve with"?
I tell them It starts with a chain saw &
ends with sand paper.
Chain saw removes wood fast.
Angle grinder smoothes wood quickly & EZ-ly.
The shape of a chisel cuts wood in that shape.
Sand paper softens wood edges.
Stain colors wood.
Faux finish high lights & shades details.

By this time they're sorry they asked.

It's time to stop talking &
start chipping.

BTW I also made a Witco style ottoman
to match this Witco chair

[ Edited by: Will carve 2018-06-10 05:45 ]

Gwen posted on Sun, Jun 10, 2018 5:00 PM

Hey, Will Carve! I love your Witco style chair. I assume that is cedar?

I would dearly love to make some chairs in addition to my bar... am working on setting up a bit of a wood shop in my garage, but don't want to get into territory where I need a planer... what is your set up? Would you consider showing a shot of your shop? What kind of joints do you use, and how to you cut them? Table saw and router?

I assume you did the rough cut of the back of the chair on a band saw?

[ Edited by: Gwen 2018-06-10 17:03 ]

[ Edited by: Gwen 2018-06-10 17:13 ]

I made the ottoman not the chair.
The chair is a real deal Witco.

No fancy shop here.
I carve in my driveway.

One more thing.
Tools are important.
Having the right tool makes you shine.
the magic is in the hands more than the tool.

Gwen posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 5:42 PM

Well, all the better and more inspiring to know you do it all in your driveway.

Pages: 1 26 replies