The best projects and things we have featured here at BangShift over what is now closing in on 30,000 posts are the things that people have made solely because they wanted to. In the realm of that idea, this could be the greatest “solely because they wanted to” build we have ever seen…ever. You are about to watch a video that depicts the construction and the operation of a turbine powered chainsaw. Seriously. This is not some weird, hacked together thing, this is a wonderfully engineered and finished unit that works as smooth and nice as you can possibly imagine, all while sounding like a 737!
Starting with the body and guts of a Stihl chainsaw, a custom 6hp miniature turbine was added. The two stage turbine turns at incredible RPM (as turbines tend to do) with the first stage turning nearly 200,000 and the second stage turning at a seemingly relaxed 80,000. They use a centrifugal clutch that can be adjusted to engage the chain between 4,000 rpm and 18,000 rpm and they achieve those lower numbers with a custom made gearbox and belt drive to get the revs down to where it would not cause the chain to overspeed and kill everyone. The engine runs on a kerosene and oil mixture.
The fact that this was all packaged under the factory lasting housing and the fact that it so smoothly is throttled up and down by the same finger trigger that came with the saw form the factory makes it all the more amazing to us. Obviously done in Europe, the power rating is in kW. They rate the saw at 5.1kW as measured at the shaft with an RPM of 12,500. A quick conversion into horsepower gets us nearly 7. How does that compare to regular chainsaws? Well the most hairy one that Stihl makes is rated at just over 8 and that’s the one you see felling the massive old growth trees in forests around the world. So this thing is serious business.
Downsides? Yeah, a couple. Massive fuel consumption and the occasional propensity to spit fire. But c’amon! We need a world with turbine powered chainsaws. Right?