Russian Man Builds A Chainsaw Out Of A Grinder

Ready for another ill-advised tool hack we definitely do not recommend you try at home? Why not take a gander at this man’s home-made chainsaw… made out of a grinder! (translated)

What this (Russian?) man has done is modified his large electric grinder — into a chainsaw. He’s added a weld plate, some mounting locations, and now it can accept either grinding wheels, or after a few minutes of assembly, a full length chainsaw blade attachment. He’s probably pretty proud of himself, but we really hope he doesn’t end up losing a finger… or worse.

Anyway, we’re not even going to point out the lack of safety guarding in this video, because it is such an obvious bad idea in general. That being said, it actually works in the demonstration!

Stick around — don’t sweat too much though, no one gets hurt. There is one thing that can be said about this project though… It’s most definitely a hack.

For a slightly safer home power tool conversion, there’s always the Scrappy Lil’ Circular Saw.

67 thoughts on “Russian Man Builds A Chainsaw Out Of A Grinder

          1. Well, there’s no point getting the big saw out just for some kindling.

            They’re meant for woodcarvers, I still not convinced it’s a good idea.

          2. You /used/ to be able to buy small wheels like those for weedeaters in the US, but not anymore. Too “dangerous” (legally) or somesuch. I’ve used one before. A GREAT idea, easier to use to clear small trees and heavy briars from a fence line than a small chainsaw. Most /dangerous/ thing about it, as far as I can tell, is dulling the blade too quickly if you are careless and run it in the dirt.

      1. In places with lower income the items are also priced lower. But I’m not so sure the russians are all that poor anymore though, just nutty and that’s motivating them to make mad contraptions and to climb 600 meter high towers to toy around on the ledge of them.

    1. while we might have a ben franklin or two when we need a chainsaw, some people just gotta make do with what they got. me personally, id have just used an axe or a cross cut saw. this thing looks like a death trap.

      when all you got is a hammer everything looks like a nail.

    2. Well, if you live in a place where the first sign civilization is a 2 days travel away from you, this hack would save you 4 days. Or probably 3, because it might take a day to come up with a working device. ;)

  1. Does it really matter from where or whom the hack is? So why emphasize on the nationality? Otherwise most other ‘hacks’ would have to start with “American Man ….”.

    Also: do you guys ever read your posts before hitting “publish”?

    1. Perhaps it’s because of the stereotype that Russians do really dangerous, cheap hacks. Because no one from the other side of the cold war has ever done anything mind numbingly stupid.

      Anyway it looks like the main thing missing is the teeth that stop the saw pulling through an object.

          1. That’s actually really reasonable, for an airport. You have to keep runways clear and dry as possible to land planes safely. Jet engines probably do a better job of it than ploughs, and they already have machines with jet engines on them wheeling around all day, so why not? You could even pre-heat the runway to prepare for snowfall!

            If they use those on regular roads – again, why not? :)

      1. Looks like it has a purple tooth below the blade for that purpose. Maybe even part of the original guard from the grinder.

        The results are VERY impressive. Going by how fast it cuts, it is moving the chain way faster than any gas chainsaw I’ve ever seen. (Admittedly, I’ve only seen a couple.)

    2. I’ve always assumed it was so you wouldn’t click the video taking for granted a handy English narration. I admit I may be too generous with that assumption.

    3. “Does it really matter from where or whom the hack is?”


      Because this is primarily an English language site. It’s nothing against Russia, Russian or Russians. Most of us can’t read Russian. The Google translations are amazing for what they are and yet still pretty crappy. This project had to clear an extra hurdle to make it still worth linking to. Great job!

  2. sweet BUT I ALREADY BOUGHT A CHAINSAW :( how can we do this and end up with a weedeater?
    rusian, I’m surprised its not made out of toasters,
    Why do russians never look happy!?

    1. I read a blog about their attitude towards emotion. The blog explained that a smile is a reserved gesture. Reserved until it is “worth” using. I think the rhetoric is that you shouldn’t smile if there isn’t anything worth smiling for. It makes sort of sense… it also explains a whole lot of things about how Russians go about their daily lives; which I will not comment. Simply because I’m not particularly fond of Russian culture.

          1. THIS. My wife is always asking why I’m frowning. I’m not! I’m just not smiling. I don’t want to put on a fake smile, I smile when it feels like I should.

      1. To be fair, having been born and raised in New England, this phenomena isn’t limited strictly to Russia/EU nations. I fail to understand why people from elsewhere in the country waste so much time on smiling, especially when it’s obviously put on. I wear a neutral expression 95% of the time and I’m perfectly well adjusted (says me). Like the Russians, we New Englanders spend much of our time in cold weather… maybe that’s partially to blame. YMMV, of course.

        1. I don’t think anyone where I live “puts on” a fake smile all the time. When you live in an area where people are openly friendly you pick it up and start being friendly. There’s nothing fake about it.

          1. You thinking that wearing a smile is the same as being friendly is bemusing but not really true. Some people never smiles but are the kindest, most friendly ones while some people keeps their smiles while cursing you.

    2. ” I’m surprised its not made out of toasters,”

      Immediately that made me imagine an alternate BSG ending where the Colonials have their own Hackaday and every project is made out of dead centurions.

      Yeah, I know, I’m a geek.

  3. Only problem I see with this is the lack of an oiler for the bar and chain. You’d eat through both pretty quick without bar oil to keep it cool. Chainsaws with all the paint burnt off the bar are either super worn out or severely under-oiled.

    1. Exactly. I can’t view the video right now, but this was the first thing that occurred to me. I’ve run out of oil once or twice, and the bar and chain get hot very quickly. If this isn’t just for quick, casual use, he’d be better off buying a small electric saw, as the cost of replacing the bar and chain will quickly get expensive.

  4. not gonna lie, this does not make me want to make a chainsaw out of a grinder………however I really want to make an adapter for grinding disks to fit on my chainsaw now.

    also I have to give them some props for making due with that they have available to them.

      1. Small grinding disks are meant for high speed but you could use one meant for a bench grinder (~3500 rpm max) or large 9″ angle grinder (6000 rpm). Abrasive disks are commonly used in concrete or demolition saws to cut metal and they are commonly rated at 3500 rpm which makes me think that the speed is not too far off on this ‘chainsaw’ with the smaller sprocket. It does lack oiling though.

        1. As you may have figured out as you go up in tool diameter you also go up in peripheral surface speed too. There is actually a formula to figure out exactly what the surface speed is. This is it

          PI * DIA * RPM / 12 = SFPM

          PI = 3.14159
          DIA = tool diameter in inches
          RPM = Revolutions Per Minute of spindle speed
          SFPM = Surface Feet Per Minute

          Using that formula we can calculate that the surface speed of a 4 inch wheel going 10,000 RPM is 10,472 SFPM. A 9″ wheel going 6,000 RPM is 14,137 SFPM. A 14″ disc like demolition saws have on them has a surface speed of 12,828 feet per minute @ 3,500 RPM. Which while initially slower than the 9″ wheel will wear down slower too, so it will maintain its surface speed better. It’s just bigger.

  5. I love how many disclaimers were required to keep the safety trolls (more or less) under control here. I think Hackaday could benefit from an official “don’t try this at home” title tag. Something to serve as a universal “this will probably kill you or get you arrested” warning, so that the writers don’t have to waste half the article saying it every way they know how.

      1. I certainly don’t mind the warnings in the summary. It’s the totally unoriginal, overly repeated warnings and put-downs in the comments that I find annoying. Unless someone identifies (and clearly explains) a safety issue which has not already been pointed out I wish people would keep that to themselves!

        That’s just my opinion though. Everyone is entitled to their own!

  6. I guess it’s not so much about place of birth but about age. When this guy started doing stuff commercial chainsaws were more or less equally dangerous / lacking common safety features. I guess he’ll find a way to cope with lubrication as well. You gotta cut those oldtimers some slack, if they survived their hacking up to that kind of age, they probably know how to handle themselves despite scaring the shit out of us…

    1. And commercial electric chainsaws are *still* more dangerous than gas powered ones. Double whammy here.

      Chainsaw safety chaps are made of kevlar or ballistic nylon, same stuff as bulletproof vests. But instead of being tightly woven to catch bullets, it’s loosely woven so the threads can easily be pulled out. When a chainsaw blade touches it, it pulls fibers into the clutch, which instantly binds up kills the engine. An electric chainsaw has no clutch, and electric motors still have high torque at low RPMs, so it won’t stop…

      1. In fact, electric motors often have *higher* torque at low RPM. Scary stuff.
        One solution that’s used is a high a current cut out, but it’s difficult to strike a balance that won’t cause the chainsaw to cut out in normal use (especially considering how fragile a human is compared to a log).

  7. You know, I really don’t feel like it is all that dangerous. It’s a freaking chainsaw, they are all dangerous. The only thing I would comment on as maybe a feature instead of a safety concern would be that there is nothing to trap the chain if it were to come off the drive sprocket. That would be annoying (ok and a little dangerous) if the chain jumps the sprocket while running because of some wood chips or something like that. Maybe weld a large fender washer on top of the sprocket for good measure.

    1. quite a few alarmist comments before a rational voice kicked in, nice work bsnow! As someone who owns and has used both electric and gas chainsaws, I can tell you that this looks very similar to how my electric units look (once the flimsy plastic guard is off.) My only concerns with the homebrew unit would be exceeding the safe max RPM of the chain and whether there is adequate hand/body shielding in the event that the chain flies to bits. In my experience, the pieces of a flying broken chain don’t have enough velocity to do much damage at normal chainsaw operation speeds. Wear eye protection, gloves, and maybe some pants and you’ll be fine.

    2. Where I come from timber is a big industry and we do almost all logging by hand, the biggest danger is the chainsaw catching and kicking up, all of our chain saws (almost exclusively gas) have a hand guard with an emergency stop lever built into it so if the saw kicks the engine automatically cuts out. Operators are much more worried about that than anything else. So basically this is missing the biggest safety feature a chainsaw should have so I would actually conclude that this is considerably more dangerous than a typical chainsaw.

    3. Exactly. As for lacking safety features look at what people was using as close in time as after WW II – not only was there no safety at all but the chainsaw weighted about 12kg unfueled. There were none of the modern safety gear either, no helmets, no cut-resistant clothing and no safety boots.
      And still the only lumberjack I’ve heard getting killed by those old monster chainsaws was gassed to death.

  8. “Russia Grinder-Chainsaw Massacre XXI: Leatherface Begins… for the 21st time.”
    Tagline: In Soviet Russia, grinder chainsaws you. Special appearances by Vladimir Putin and Pussy Riot. Coming soon to a Walmart $5 DVD bin near you.

    1. Not really worth sweating over. The worst it will do is burn the brushes from stalling. The spindle lock is engaged or he couldn’t be tightening the sprocket anyways.

  9. I don’t know about this sort of thing being strictly a Russian thing… Here in the south ideas like this are usually prefaced with “Hmm…. I wonder if this’ll work… Here – hold my beer”.

    As for safety, having close contact with the lumber industry, having that chain come off without a safety brake of some sort is a great way to render random parts of the user into hamburger meat. That aside, Bad balance and position of the blade in relation to the operator is usually the reason kickback happens. That’s the subtle evil associated with chainsaws.

    But death and dismemberment aside, from a design standpoint my first thought was whether the casing that bar was affixed to was cheap pot metal. It made me think it might have a short life before it’s catastrophic come-apart…

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