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SDS cutting and digging bits against tree roots?

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  • #750593
    picone
    Pro

    But the problem is the wood is so hard it dulls sawz-all blades very quickly. I have used several types of blades and they all get dull very quickly.

    I actually excavated most of it today. I had to do it inch by inch. I cut it into small 2″ strips and cut them out using a combination of tools. It was a long and difficult process, and there is still a chunk that I can’t get out because it is impossible to cut through.

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    #750595
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    But the problem is the wood is so hard it dulls sawz-all blades very quickly. I have used several types of blades and they all get dull very quickly.

    I actually excavated most of it today. I had to do it inch by inch. I cut it into small 2″ strips and cut them out using a combination of tools. It was a long and difficult process, and there is still a chunk that I can’t get out because it is impossible to cut through.

    Could use a axe or hatchet to cut the root out of the way?

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #750608
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Could use a axe or hatchet to cut the root out of the way?

    That’s what I do when I encounter this problem, use an axe.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #750611

    But the problem is the wood is so hard it dulls sawz-all blades very quickly. I have used several types of blades and they all get dull very quickly.

    I actually excavated most of it today. I had to do it inch by inch. I cut it into small 2″ strips and cut them out using a combination of tools. It was a long and difficult process, and there is still a chunk that I can’t get out because it is impossible to cut through.

    What about trying to drill a few holes into it , then might be easier with the sawzal , try those Milwaukee carbide blades ,
    I think drill bits are cheaper than sawzal blades , could be an option. 🤷‍♂️

    #750612
    picone
    Pro

    Thanks to those who responded, but no one seems to have answered the basic question whether a demolition drill with a chisel bit will cut through roots?

    The location of the spot and the below grade depth make it hard to implement some of the suggestions. High-end drill bits and sawz-all blades dull quickly when cutting the roots – these are very dense oak tree roots.

    I also am wondering whether a powerful pressure washer, which can cut through wood, might have been an option.

    #750613
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    Thanks to those who responded, but no one seems to have answered the basic question whether a demolition drill with a chisel bit will cut through roots?

    Yes a demo hammer with the spade or chisel bit will cut trough a tree root.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #750687
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I am going to disagree and say it won’t be able to cut tree roots.

    I don’t have a breaker hammer, but I hired a fence company to put in a gate several months ago and they came with a Bosch breaker hammer to break up the concrete for the existing post. It was also next to a tree so there were roots, some 3/4″ some 5″ in diameter that strangled the old rotted gate post. They didn’t use the breaker to cut the roots, only the concrete. For the roots they used a recip. saw and hunched over into the hole and made the needed cuts. I did suggest to them to try the breaker hammer but they told me it doesn’t work with roots.

    I myself have a Bosch bulldog extreme rotary hammer and I also have tried to cut roots not huge ones but smaller (3/4″, 1″, 1.5″) with a 2.5″ wide chisel bit. Didn’t work. It doesn’t CUT/SEVER the roots. it will chew out, deform, bent and twist, pound the roots but it’s still connected. For one thing, it’s hard to keep the chisel blade on the roots without it slipping to one side, and you can let it pound and pound and all you are doing it flatten it to half a pulpy mess but it’s not disconnecting. So every time I tried to do it I could spend two minutes trying to chisel a root, then bent down with a sawzall to cut that root after it’s been chewed up, when I could have made the same cut with a sawzall with less time to begin with. For me it never worked, if I am doing it wrong or there is a special blade I’d like to know.

    #750688
    picone
    Pro

    Miamicuse: Thanks so much for a very informative post. Sawz-alls just don’t cut it on hardwood tree roots like oak. I have a stack of dull blades to prove it.

    Your explanation seems consistent with what I have heard from others.

    I did get the roots under control, but it took a long time and was very hard work. I had to cut them inch by inch using a combination of techniques.

    My application was in a tight space below grade adjacent to concrete, so that limited my options. They should make a stump grinder that is mounted on a robotic arm with 360 degrees of rotation so you could get into tight spaces.

    #750689
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @picone, I don’t know what kind of oaks you have, but down in South Florida I have cut through live oaks, olive, shaving brush, banyan fig roots just in 2020 without any issue.

    May be your species of oak is more hard then others.

    One thing I know is if the roots are not fully exposed, and the saw is cutting both the roots and the dirt/soil/sand, it dulls very quickly, of course when excavating someimes we have no choice, but I know if I stick a blade into the dirt to cut a half exposed root, that blade is ruined. But once the root is fully exposed then I have never had a problem cutting it with a recip blade.

    Smaller roots up to about 1-1/4″ in diameter I use a looper. That works, fast and clean cut.

    Yes a small stump grinder on a robotic arm controlled by a smart phone would be nice. I have a stump right now I want to get rid of, but a stump grinder cannot access because it’s between a fence and my pool pump and piping.

    #750691
    picone
    Pro

    I am not sure of the species – it might be red oak. However, the root was about 12 solid inches of very hard and compact wood. Maybe because it was wedged against the concrete.

    When I lived in Mississippi, we had a tree they called bodock. Chainsaws used to spark when you cut it – hardest wood I ever tried to cut. It would dull a brand new chain.

    A tool manufacturer, Alpine, makes a portable grinder designed for below grade applications: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-DRdLtf6E
    But no one rents these.

    We have a lot of trees in Philadelphia in tight areas that are surrounded by concrete, so I am surprised this isn’t a more common problem.

    Anyway, I appreciate all the advice from this forum.

    -Joe

    #750769
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    I am not sure of the species – it might be red oak. However, the root was about 12 solid inches of very hard and compact wood. Maybe because it was wedged against the concrete.

    When I lived in Mississippi, we had a tree they called bodock. Chainsaws used to spark when you cut it – hardest wood I ever tried to cut. It would dull a brand new chain.

    A tool manufacturer, Alpine, makes a portable grinder designed for below grade applications: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-DRdLtf6E

    But no one rents these.

    We have a lot of trees in Philadelphia in tight areas that are surrounded by concrete, so I am surprised this isn’t a more common problem.

    Anyway, I appreciate all the advice from this forum.

    -Joe

    I never heard of banock trees before. I have seen sparks come off chainsaw chain before. Usually when cutting up dead trees for firewood like oak, hard maple. The chainsaw chain doesn’t stay sharpen for too long.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

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