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Thread: Chainsaw input & recommendations

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Chainsaw input & recommendations

    No idea what forum to put this in. Admin might need to re-visit the ole quantity vs quality issue.

    I'm in need of a new saw to use for cutting small spruce and medium size birch. Both my old used, hand me down saws are crap. Seems like every chainsaw has its issues and quirkiness though.

    Couple of questions:
    Is there a correlation between bar size & engine size? Is bigger, better? Like, would it be smarter to get a 42cc 16" saw or will a 30cc 16" do just fine? Does the weight of the saw matter, regarding cutting ability? Are there certain brands I should avoid? Anyone use or have opinions about Craftsman chainsaws (I generally like Craftsman tools)? Definitely not looking for a top of the line saw.

    FYI, I'm not trying to blow PFD money on a saw and would like to spend around $200 and would like a 14-16" saw, but would consider an 18". Both my old, crummy McCulloch saws have issues and I need to buck-up some medium size birch, asap. I'd also use the saw around our Big Lake area property for cutting up black spruce. Anyway, I'd love some input about what to look for in a chainsaw and brand recommendations.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    You can't go wrong with a Stihl. We ran McCullochs years ago, big ones, when logging in the old growth. They aren't like they used to be. I've had Husqvarna, and they're good saws, but I think the Stihls are better built. I have a variety of them, and they each have their place. The small ones on the wheeler. The larger ones go with me in the pickup. The one I run the most is my MS460 magnum. It has a 28" bar. I like the power and I don't like sawing bent over.
    Whatever you buy, if you plan to use it often, stay away from the home owner models. Get a magnum or a Farm Boss.
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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    My family has had 3 Craftsman over the years (14-16"). Only one ever saw any serious use, the others were for miscellaneous cleanup after wind storms/dead limb cleanup here and there. They work great for around the house type stuff, but I'm not sure I would be using them for consistent cutting of larger wood; they seemed to struggle when we got into anything of decent size. Buddy has a Stihl and a Husqvarna, both seem to work much better.

    Good luck!
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    I have cut hundreds and hundreds of trees in the last year and I love my Stihl 362. It has a 25" bar and is truly a beast of a cutter. The weight gets heavy at the end of the day and I use there lowest end model 170 with a 16" bar for light work it too cuts like a champ and has seen much harder work than ever mean't to be used. If I were to get one for what you are looking at- consider the Stih or Husqvarna mid line Farm or Ranch models. They both have great reputations and good dealers to do business with. Cut with a sharp chain and clean the air filter and change the spark plug and fuel filter when needed. Good luck.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    You can't go wrong with a Stihl.
    That was exactly what I was going to say. I use mine in a very similar manner to what you describe, and I've been plenty happy with my Stihl. Paid close to what you're thinking. Go into Jackovich and tell the fellas what you need - they're super helpful and knowledgable.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Everything I'm reading on the inner tubes is pointing to a Stihl or Husqvarna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Everything I'm reading on the inner tubes is pointing to a Stihl or Husqvarna.
    Yes, pay now for the quality and it will outlast all the others.
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    Unfortunately, Husqvarna has gone "homeowner" quality the past few years unless you get a pro model.

    Unless you plan on more than 2-3 cords at a time, I'd consider a Stihl 170.

    Short bar 12-14 I think, but no problem cutting bigger logs by working it around. It is a small, easy to control saw, that with its narrow kerf, cuts pretty fast for its size. I particularly like using it when I'm on snowshoes.

    I have a 44, a 25, 180, and a 170. I use the two little guys 99% of the time. They cost less than $200.
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    Husky hasnt gone homeowner quality. Its people who want to buy a good saw for cheap prices, which doesnt happen. Stihl also has lots of homeowner saws with subpar quality. Stihl and Husky are the way to go, you get what you pay for. I always run Husky because I actually want my saw to start in the cold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhook57 View Post
    Husky hasnt gone homeowner quality. Its people who want to buy a good saw for cheap prices, which doesnt happen. Stihl also has lots of homeowner saws with subpar quality. Stihl and Husky are the way to go, you get what you pay for. I always run Husky because I actually want my saw to start in the cold.
    True story there, on all counts.

    I have to pull my Husky 6 times before it will pop, which is annoying as hell... But it's 100% consistent and reliable regardless of temperature; 6 pulls and it will fire at -40.
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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Online reviews are brutal! Makes me not want to buy a saw, which goes back to my original point--I want to buy one that can be serviced and warrantied here.

    Outside the Stihl 170 and the Husqvarna 240, not many choices in the $200 range. Don't want to spend more money, but I was looking at either the Stihl M250 or the Husqvarna 445; 18" models. I think both are in the 'homeowner' category, but thats already stretching my budget. The Stihl comes with a case and spare chain for a few bucks less. Anyone know about either of these saws?

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    Spend a bit more for a "pro" saw. The Dolmar is probably the best deal price wise...the 421 is an awesome saw. You can get reviews on the Arborist site....$300 give or take....nothing worse than a cheap pain in the ***** chainsaw....both Stihl and Husky make cheap homeowner saws. You are just getting a cheap saw with a name behind it....

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    Stay away from the box store saws
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Stihl MS250's should be on sale at Stihl dealers for $299 right now. That is what I have them for sale at my store. It's a decent saw, not a pro saw by any means, but I have customers that cut 10 cords a year with them for over a decade with very few issues. Keep a sharp chain on them and fresh fuel in them and they will last a long time.
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  15. #15

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    I have a Husky 353 that I cut 6-8 cords a year with. It's a good saw. It's a mid range saw - not a pro saw but a step up from the home owner. It starts easy in the cold. I've had it 5 years now. I went with Husky because the service I could get after I bought the saw. I'm not brand loyal, but customer service and reliability loyal.


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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Stihl MS250's should be on sale at Stihl dealers for $299 right now. That is what I have them for sale at my store. It's a decent saw, not a pro saw by any means, but I have customers that cut 10 cords a year with them for over a decade with very few issues. Keep a sharp chain on them and fresh fuel in them and they will last a long time.
    They're $299 in town and come with a case and spare chain. Same factory promo it sounds like.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Got the old McCullogh running after taking advice here. Cleaned the air filter, new oil and gas and bar oil and a new spark plug. The old plug was horrid.
    Ran it like a champ for an hour plus. Noticed it was really heavy for a 16" saw and did a little research on it and I'm fairly impressed. Its a Pro 10-10S with a 3.5 cu in/57cc engine. 15.6 lbs for the engine alone. Says it will take a 16" to 28" bar. Gonna kick this dead horse the next two weekends and end up buying a new saw at my leisure; unless it won't run this weekend!! Kinda wondering if I can use another brand chain on it though.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with a 10-10S except for the weight, but I don't know if they are actually that heavy. I have one I'm rebuilding right now. I might be a Stihl dealer, but I have plenty of respect for other brands of saws. You want to handle a big Mac, I have an SP125C, a 125cc beast

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Got the old McCullogh running after taking advice here. Cleaned the air filter, new oil and gas and bar oil and a new spark plug. The old plug was horrid.
    Ran it like a champ for an hour plus. Noticed it was really heavy for a 16" saw and did a little research on it and I'm fairly impressed. Its a Pro 10-10S with a 3.5 cu in/57cc engine. 15.6 lbs for the engine alone. Says it will take a 16" to 28" bar. Gonna kick this dead horse the next two weekends and end up buying a new saw at my leisure; unless it won't run this weekend!! Kinda wondering if I can use another brand chain on it though.
    Keep an eye out on Craig's list.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Got the old McCullogh running after taking advice here. Cleaned the air filter, new oil and gas and bar oil and a new spark plug. The old plug was horrid.
    Ran it like a champ for an hour plus. Noticed it was really heavy for a 16" saw and did a little research on it and I'm fairly impressed. Its a Pro 10-10S with a 3.5 cu in/57cc engine. 15.6 lbs for the engine alone. Says it will take a 16" to 28" bar. Gonna kick this dead horse the next two weekends and end up buying a new saw at my leisure; unless it won't run this weekend!! Kinda wondering if I can use another brand chain on it though.

    Check the chain markings (or take the chain to a good chainsaw dealer/store), but from the Arborists forums- the same question was asked about that saw and this was the answer: Oregon 72LGX 60 links. .050, 3/8.

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