Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 78

Thread: Chainsaw Question(s)

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default Chainsaw Question(s)

    Didn't really know where else to put this, so here goes.

    I'm ready to go out and buy what will essentially be my first "real" chainsaw. I have my Dad's old electric saw, but it's not terribly useful, being electric. I have an older (90's I'm told) Poulan-made Crapman that I got basically free in a trade, but it has never run right. No wonder it was free. I've been borrowing other people's saw off and on for occasional use the last few years.

    I know what I want to do with a chainsaw, but I don't which chainsaw to get. I would like a saw that, primarily, I can fell, limb, and buck trees at our cabin with and use to rip boards or make "D" logs with using an Alaska Saw Mill (also obtained in a trade...with aforementioned crap chainsaw). On a secondary use basis, I want a chainsaw that I can carry in a canoe on hunting trips and use with a Lewis winch to either skid or hoist logs or pull or hoist a moose or caribou, or pull the canoe, etc.

    Longevity of service life is of utmost importance. I want my son to use this to teach his son how to fell a tree.

    Lastly, I would all but insist on buying an American made tool, if at all possible. (That is to say, I don't mind paying 50% more; I'm not paying 200% more.)

    Are there just some saws that are better with a lewis winch than others, or some saws that are better at ripping boards than others?

    Do the local dealers do "end of season" sales on chainsaws and winches? When is the best time of year to buy one for the best price?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    The trend in chainsaws has been leaning toward peaky small motors, fast chain speeds, and light weight for tree cutting. It used to be that the powerful saws had big displacement and lots of torque. That weighs more. For a Lewis you'll want the displacement and torque, not the speed. For cutting the speed and light weight rock. Go talk to a dealer and let them steer you to a good compromise. Baileys and Jackovich are my favorite saw shops. Baileys and AK Specialty Equipment are one in the same these days. Those are the Stihl dealers. I don't know who sells Husquvarna but those are good saws too. Neither is American made. By the way, my Lewis pulled a healthy birch root wad this fall that was bigger than my sheds. I can't remember which Stihl power head is attached to it but it's a thumper, not a screamer. Incredible winch, that Lewis.

  3. #3
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,750

    Default

    I have a Stihl 034 that just keeps on going. I think it's around 25 years old now. It also was used when I bought it. Hard to beat that I'd say....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #4
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    KP, the dingleberry of Alaska
    Posts
    1,751

    Default

    There really is no one saw that will meet all your criteria; what you really need is probably 3 or 4 saws....a lil crapper for brush, cutting skull plates, etc., a mid-size (55cc or so) with a 20"-24" bar for falling and bucking, and a big fella for milling and winching.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    There really is no one saw that will meet all your criteria; what you really need is probably 3 or 4 saws....a lil crapper for brush, cutting skull plates, etc., a mid-size (55cc or so) with a 20"-24" bar for falling and bucking, and a big fella for milling and winching.
    Figured it would be something like that. Guess that means something big will it do it all, just be super heavy overkill on smaller jobs.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I have a Stihl 034 that just keeps on going. I think it's around 25 years old now. It also was used when I bought it. Hard to beat that I'd say....
    I've heard other people talk about those 034's, but they don't make them anymore.

    Mr Pid, thanks for the references on the dealers. Many times, having a good local dealer/service dept makes all the difference and is usually worth the price premium.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,224

    Default

    You can certainly brush, fell, limb, buck and mill with the same saw. For milling, you'll be better served by a little more displacement than you might otherwise need. For a 'do everything' saw, in the long run you'll be better served by by more displacement rather than less. You're probably going to want a different powerhead for use as a canoe saw/winch tho.

    A good Husky or Stihl will last the better part of a lifetime of serious use. I've logged and fought fire with both, and either will hold up for a long long time if treated appropriately. Given the choice, my preference is Husqvarna, and my personal saw for the past ~20 years is a Husky. The current equivalent to the saw I use is the 372XPG. It will do everything you want, except that if I was going to do any real ripping with a mill, I'd want something a bit larger. For a small, handy canoe saw, I might be inclined to look at a 338XPT. http://www.husqvarna.com/us/forest/p...mpare-xp-saws/
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    [...]372XPG. It will do everything you want[...]For a small, handy canoe saw, I might be inclined to look at a 338XPT.
    Well I certainly appreciate your input, Taiga. That first saw you listed is right at a thousand dollars. Wow. Doable, but not very easily. The second is $500-ISH, which was really closer to what I wanted to spend. BUT, quality doesn't come cheap and money is better spent on the right tool once than on the wrong tool two or three times looking for the right fit.

    Those two saws you listed, one is about 5hp and the other is about 2.5; what effect does the hp of the saw have on performance, other than "more power good ug ug ug." Should I be more focused on displacement or some other parameter? Perhaps that is a redundant question: a larger displacement will, by its nature, produce more hp.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Well I certainly appreciate your input, Taiga. That first saw you listed is right at a thousand dollars. Wow. Doable, but not very easily. The second is $500-ISH, which was really closer to what I wanted to spend. BUT, quality doesn't come cheap and money is better spent on the right tool once than on the wrong tool two or three times looking for the right fit.

    Those two saws you listed, one is about 5hp and the other is about 2.5; what effect does the hp of the saw have on performance, other than "more power good ug ug ug." Should I be more focused on displacement or some other parameter? Perhaps that is a redundant question: a larger displacement will, by its nature, produce more hp.
    Displacement isn't everything; RPM's play a role too.... it's a balancing act. And you can look at power to weight ratio. That dictates what the saw's capable of vs. how much energy you're going to expend lugging it around. That 372 is a good medium size class professional grade saw that will last 40 years and endure a lot of heavy use. You could mill with it too, but IMHO it's on the light side for milling. You could certainly get by with a smaller saw for everything you asked, except the milling. That puts a lot of sustained load on a powerhead, and displacement is your friend there. If you're only going to mill an occasional log, no big deal, but if you're going to mill lumber or D-logs to build a house, you'll shorten the lifespan of that powerhead quite a bit. If you're on a tight budget and have time, you might watch the used market. Unfortunately, pro class saws rarely turn up used. I don't intend to tell you which saw to buy; just trying to give some points of reference for consideration. You could definitely find an old Stihl and make do, but these newer class saws have a lot going for them. My 371XPG has required zero powerhead maintenance during it's life so far, save for a new spark plug occasionally. And the Husqvarna air intake system is so clean, I only clean my air filter every couple hundred hours of operation; not like the old days with saws that required a filter cleaning with every tank of gas...
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  10. #10
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Creek
    Posts
    2,267

    Default

    Vermeer Alaska has Husky PRO saws.

    I have several. Best so far is the 550XP with 3/8 chain.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    Bill Hicks

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    I'd like to build my own cabin from milled logs/boards, but I'm not sure I have it in me. Having said that, however, the only way we're ever going to have our own cabin, is to hack it out of the woods ourselves; we've decided that we're just not going into debt to buy cabin materials or milled logs, and given our current age, by the time we saved enough money to pay cash for the materials, we'd be too old to build it. (Or even live in it, for that matter.)

    In regards to milling, I've been told that spruce is very similar to pine and good to build with, and, if I have to bring down some of the spruce on our land, I'd like to use it for something other than firewood. (My girlfriend's dad, for the record, thinks I'm crazy; it's too easy to buy lumber at Lowe's.)

    Those of you who mill logs or rip boards from downed trees, do you just use the same chain for ripping that you use for felling, or is there a special chain for that?

    I was just looking at the Lewis winch website. (Those are almost a thousand bucks, too. What a rude wake up call.) Their site states says you can get away with 3 hp if you're winching under 3k lbs, which seems like a lot of weight. (Then again, one of those come-a-long lever-pull winches will pull that and they cost like $50.) 5 hp was the recommended saw size.

  12. #12
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    ...do you just use the same chain for ripping that you use for felling, or is there a special chain for that?
    Use ripping chain. It's much more efficient, and easier on the saw.

    White spruce/Sitka spruce is fine to build with. It's a little livlelier (springier) than than pine, and much more than Douglas fir, but very strong. (The reason they make aircraft spars and roller coasters out of it).
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  13. #13
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    I have a Stihl MS390 and it's a fine saw that will do what you want.
    The replacement for it is the MS391 and has 4.5HP.
    As said get a ripping chain or two for using the Alaskan mill.

  14. #14
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    stihl 044 with a 36" bar or nothing.
    Semper Fi!

  15. #15
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Like boats there is no one saw that fits all purposes. I went with Stihl because of parts availability. I then bought used power heads from ebay and rebuilt them. I now have all bases covered with a 009, 009L, 250, 039. the one that gets used the most is the 039. I have tried to get parts from local suppliers and rarely do they have the parts in stock so I get most of the parts from Amazon or Ebay. A good source for chain and bars and files is and other gear is http://www.baileysonline.com
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  16. #16
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    503

    Default

    I highly recommend the folks at Jackovich as well, they have a dedicated saw shop and all the knowledge to go with it.

    Address: 1716 N Post Rd, Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone:(907) 277-1406
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Willow/Moose Creek
    Posts
    473

    Default

    AKDoug is now a dealer for Stihl. Being in Sunshine, he is close to Trapper Creek with an assortment of parts.

  18. #18

    Default

    Jonsered 2152 with 20" bar,, jonsered 2065 24" bar ,, jonsered 600+ for milling,,made in sweden

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    952

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I'd like to build my own cabin from milled logs/boards, but I'm not sure I have it in me. Having said that, however, the only way we're ever going to have our own cabin, is to hack it out of the woods ourselves; we've decided that we're just not going into debt to buy cabin materials or milled logs, and given our current age, by the time we saved enough money to pay cash for the materials, we'd be too old to build it. (Or even live in it, for that matter.)

    In regards to milling, I've been told that spruce is very similar to pine and good to build with, and, if I have to bring down some of the spruce on our land, I'd like to use it for something other than firewood. (My girlfriend's dad, for the record, thinks I'm crazy; it's too easy to buy lumber at Lowe's.)

    Those of you who mill logs or rip boards from downed trees, do you just use the same chain for ripping that you use for felling, or is there a special chain for that?

    I was just looking at the Lewis winch website. (Those are almost a thousand bucks, too. What a rude wake up call.) Their site states says you can get away with 3 hp if you're winching under 3k lbs, which seems like a lot of weight. (Then again, one of those come-a-long lever-pull winches will pull that and they cost like $50.) 5 hp was the recommended saw size.
    I'd have to agree with your girlfriend's dad. Even paying as you go, you'd probably have a usable cabin faster going the buy lumber route vs the mill your own option. As others have said, you need more than one saw to do what you want. Something smaller to cut down and limb trees, and something bigger for milling.

    I got a Stihl MS361 as my all around saw to replace my old 42cc Craftsman, which I still use once in a while. That 361 will take down and cut up any tree in the Mat-Su valley. It does get heavy when trimming off branches though and I often wished for a smaller lighter saw for that.

    I've also used it for milling spruce. I does it but it is slow. I recently purchased a used MS660 to use specifically for milling. That goes a lot faster but milling lumber out of trees with an Alaska Chainsaw mill is still time consuming.

    In Anchorage, I'd get a Stihl over a Husky simply because there are more Stihl dealers around here.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    952

    Default

    Also, here's a link to a thread I started a while back on chainsaw milling.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...=chainsaw+mill

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •