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27-02-2012, 22:28   #1
johngalway
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debranching hand tool, bill hook?

Hi folks,

How would a bill hook be for debranching? Mostly mature gorse. Which model would be best, I've been looking around but there seem to be a lot of them!

ATB,

John
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27-02-2012, 23:31   #2
foxylock
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I cleared a fairly big area of mature gorse last year, I got almost a years worth of firewood outta them. The method I used was to limb them as they stood and then cut them into the required lenths for the stove. This way you don't have to worry about saw horses etc and you can work alone. To be honest a small Husquavarna was my saving grace, light and nimble and doesn't tire out the arms too much.

Are you cutting to burn or just tidying up the bushes, a bill hook will bring hardship on ya if you have a lot to do.
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27-02-2012, 23:44   #3
Jack_regan
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These are the type of bill hooks I use, I got them in the local farm shop, I think they were about €15 or €20 each. I find they work well for debranching, the lighter stuff anyway. It can get fairly hard on the hands if your doing it all day long(I must get around to putting a bit of padding on the handle!)

I'm mainly debranching ash and conifers. The one I have is fairly light. I've seen heavier bill hooks but I wouldn't fancy swinging them around all day long. Occasionally the bill hook I have wouldn't go through the branch on the first swing so you'd have to take another swing at it so that might be the only advantage of going for a heavier model.

Also I highly recommend the red electrical tape around the handle, it's amazing how the bill hook blends into the undergrowth when you put it down.

I wouldn't fancy your job debranching the gorse bushes. Good luck with it!
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28-02-2012, 09:04   #4
blue5000
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OP have you tried using a pruning saw? you can get one with a hollow handle which takes a long wooden handle for going up higher.

something like this
http://www.gardenerslife.ie/Product_...uning-Saw.html
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28-02-2012, 12:11   #5
Oldtree
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxylock View Post
To be honest a small Husquavarna was my saving grace, light and nimble and doesn't tire out the arms too much.

Are you cutting to burn or just tidying up the bushes, a bill hook will bring hardship on ya if you have a lot to do.
Ditto, use a small chainsaw, Stihl 020T, much easier all round.

Last edited by Oldtree; 28-02-2012 at 12:18.
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28-02-2012, 14:27   #6
greenfingers89
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used a bill hook for debranching a lot of spruce before. i attached a few heavy lumps of metal to the end above the blade to add a bit of weight to make it easier to knock off the branching....if ya know what i mean
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28-02-2012, 16:29   #7
Jack_regan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfingers89 View Post
used a bill hook for debranching a lot of spruce before. i attached a few heavy lumps of metal to the end above the blade to add a bit of weight to make it easier to knock off the branching....if ya know what i mean
Now there's an idea, why didn't I think of that? Something else to add to the "to do" list. Thanks
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28-02-2012, 18:08   #8
johngalway
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Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm not looking for a chainsaw as I already have one Nor a saw as I'd prefer a striking tool.

I was looking at a Yorkshire bill hook online, got a bit of a longer handle than Jacks photo and I think it had two different edges a hook and straight edge. Could be used for hedging sometime in the future maybe. Anyone used one?

Bushes are cut, just need to sort them and knock a few branches off. They'll be stacked, dried and burnt as firewood.

Last edited by johngalway; 28-02-2012 at 18:10.
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01-03-2012, 18:28   #9
CJhaughey
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Can't beat a good Machete John.
Seriously they are dynamite for debranching stuff.
Tramontina are good but make sure you get a good long one.
Bolo pattern carry a good bit of weight at the tip.
I saw some in the Galway show being sold by Cavanagh nets in Greencastle co Donegal.
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15-03-2012, 08:32   #10
Askim
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seen this

http://WWW.honeybros.com/index.php?a...wiss_Bush_Hook

looks to have a nice long point & curve
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15-03-2012, 10:13   #11
Rovi
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I've never used one, but my buddies in the U.S. swear by these:
http://www.woodmanspal.com/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 435_image.jpg (29.1 KB, 209 views)
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15-03-2012, 11:13   #12
johngalway
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Got a right cheap bill hook off Ebay, haven't used it in anger yet but I did manage to cut myself with it before it ever left the house ho-hum The continuation of a long tradition Will post up a link later, heavier than it looked in the photo which is good.
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