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Thread: Chainsaws...

  1. #1
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Question Chainsaws...

    Ive searched around on the forum about Chainsaw advice and didn't find too much so I though Id start a new thread.

    Here are a few questions and observations I have:

    I have a Poulon 295 with a 20" bar and its served me pretty well. Im actually on my second saw of this type and for the most part its a pretty good saw. I think its a little underpowered for a 20" bar but with a sharp chain Ive been pretty satisfied with the saw. But the one I have now is starting to see some wear and I am thinking about pulling the trigger on a new saw for the summer wood cutting season. What the best brand for the money? Ive been looking at Stihl but they are spendy. I know you get what you pay for but is it worth the extra coin?

    Sharpening:

    I try to keep ontop of my chains and sharpen them just about every time I gas up. This seems to work ok. But I can never get that factory edge back on the chain. Ive tried the dremel method and thats faster but most of the time in the field it the good old round file and time that gets used the most. Anyone have a good advice or link on sharpening chains? And it it worth it to invest in one of those sharpeners like this one: http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdet...5200&catID=131

    Bigger saw, bigger bar, bigger chain better cutting? I think this is self explanatory. What the best all around wood cutting saw size for AK.

    Im pretty safe and if I feel uneasy about any situation such as felling, or an awquard cutting angle I move on, it not worth it for the firewood to risk injury. What saftey equipment do you guys use? I wear earplug, and saftey glasses and work boots, but I have not been in the situation where I think I need to wear leg protectors. What do you guys think.

    And finally Ive heard that in the spring you can fell Birch trees and leave them lay and once the leaf out without their root system, it sucks all the moisture out of them so that you can use them safely the next winter. Is there any truth to this?

    Cutting wood in the cold. Recently with our Fairbanks cold Ive been doing som cutting in the extreme cold. Ive richened up my oil to gas ration in my saw and it seems to run pretty good. The bar oil is another problem at -30 bar oil doesn't want to flow very well. Does anyone have some tricks to help it flow besides keeping the bar oil warm? Inside the cowling of the snowmachine in a metal bottle works pretty well as long as your not sitting with the machine off for too long.

    Finally, splitting. I usually split the wood as I need it instead of splitting it all once I get it. I split it if the wood is at all wet but if it dry I find it keeps better if they are left in rounds and elevated off the ground. I think the bark helps protect the wood. I put mine on pallets with sheets of old roofing ontop so the wood can breath and the water runs off.

    Stay warm out there and enjoy those nights by the fire when you know it was your work that is keeping you warm. It bring an satifying feeling to me. A good fire and a warm house makes a easier winter.

  2. #2
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    Default Chainsaws...

    I'm no logger, but have cut many cords of wood over the last 35-40 yrs.I had a stihl 041 that I just laid to rest a few yrs ago.It was the best.The dealer, a personal friend of mine suggested the MS-361.I cut some huge fir trees(over 100'tall)2' across, and He gave me some good advise.This saw is one cutting machine, and is on the low end of the comercial saws.To me, 600 dollars for a saw that will give 30-40 years of good service is rather cheap.Good luck whatever you choose.GR

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    Ive searched around on the forum about Chainsaw advice and didn't find too much so I though Id start a new thread.

    Here are a few questions and observations I have:

    I have a Poulon 295 with a 20" bar and its served me pretty well. Im actually on my second saw of this type and for the most part its a pretty good saw. I think its a little underpowered for a 20" bar but with a sharp chain Ive been pretty satisfied with the saw. But the one I have now is starting to see some wear and I am thinking about pulling the trigger on a new saw for the summer wood cutting season. What the best brand for the money? Ive been looking at Stihl but they are spendy. I know you get what you pay for but is it worth the extra coin?

    Sharpening:

    I try to keep ontop of my chains and sharpen them just about every time I gas up. This seems to work ok. But I can never get that factory edge back on the chain. Ive tried the dremel method and thats faster but most of the time in the field it the good old round file and time that gets used the most. Anyone have a good advice or link on sharpening chains? And it it worth it to invest in one of those sharpeners like this one: http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdet...5200&catID=131

    Bigger saw, bigger bar, bigger chain better cutting? I think this is self explanatory. What the best all around wood cutting saw size for AK.

    Im pretty safe and if I feel uneasy about any situation such as felling, or an awquard cutting angle I move on, it not worth it for the firewood to risk injury. What saftey equipment do you guys use? I wear earplug, and saftey glasses and work boots, but I have not been in the situation where I think I need to wear leg protectors. What do you guys think.

    And finally Ive heard that in the spring you can fell Birch trees and leave them lay and once the leaf out without their root system, it sucks all the moisture out of them so that you can use them safely the next winter. Is there any truth to this?

    Cutting wood in the cold. Recently with our Fairbanks cold Ive been doing som cutting in the extreme cold. Ive richened up my oil to gas ration in my saw and it seems to run pretty good. The bar oil is another problem at -30 bar oil doesn't want to flow very well. Does anyone have some tricks to help it flow besides keeping the bar oil warm? Inside the cowling of the snowmachine in a metal bottle works pretty well as long as your not sitting with the machine off for too long.

    Finally, splitting. I usually split the wood as I need it instead of splitting it all once I get it. I split it if the wood is at all wet but if it dry I find it keeps better if they are left in rounds and elevated off the ground. I think the bark helps protect the wood. I put mine on pallets with sheets of old roofing ontop so the wood can breath and the water runs off.

    Stay warm out there and enjoy those nights by the fire when you know it was your work that is keeping you warm. It bring an satifying feeling to me. A good fire and a warm house makes a easier winter.

    So i work in the bush everyday as a professional faller and the first two things you need is a hard hat and cutting pants one limb in the head and you can end up a vegetable for good.Cutting pants will also save your life 100 bucks a pair is pretty cheap life saver.For what you use your saw for i would say Stihl 361 or 441 both good saws and will last along time.If you can find a file guide with two rollers on it will help get the edge you are looking for that and lots of practice.Good luck and stay safe.

  4. #4
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I don't know about the leafs sucking all the moisture out ( I'm sure it helps ) another thing that will help is to run your saw lenght ways down the tree just through the bark, seems to dry out a little faster. Personaly I think you'd be pretty hard press'ed to dry out a birch tree in one season. E.S.

  5. #5

    Default

    In case you don't know about it, www.arboristsite.com for ANY saw, logging, climbing, etc etc. related questions you might have, the experts are there to help and very friendly folks that do not talk down to a novice, like I was when I first asked a few ?s there. Just be warned...it's addicting and they too have a classifieds section with some great saw deals! Have fun!

  6. #6

    Default

    Stihl's are good saws. I don't know how they compare to the rest, but that is what I have and they have always had a good rep. As far as sharpening goes, you want to make sure you have the right size file and you need to maintain the right angle and make sure it's level with the top of the tooth. Also, I take an EZE-LAP Diamond Hone and lightly hone off the burrs on the top and side of the tooth. Sharpening a 16", 30 tooth blade takes me about 30 minutes and it lasts about two cords of wood, including felling, about 6 gas fill ups. I used to take my blades in for a professional sharpening after sharpening 4 or 5 times my self to get the teeth uniformed angled right.

    And +1 on the hard hat. I was felling lodgepole yesterday and a small branch about 1" in diameter broke off and fell abut 50' down on top of my head and gave me a real good crack. i was only wearing a canvas ball cap and it really stung. Hate to think what a slightly larger brnch would have done.

  7. #7
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    Default Lodgepole

    I've been cutting lodgepole, and love how it burns,not to mention I'm getting a little lazy in my old age, and those rounds fit right in the stove.The patch I cut in has lots of widow makers(bug kill)and a hard hat has saved my bacon before.Good advise.GR

  8. #8
    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Have used many makes in the past and found once I went stihl I could almost double my production over the lower end brands, so in my opinion the extra coin is well spent.
    Paul

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've got an old Husqvarana 181 that had seen alot of use when I got it used 10 years ago, and should last my lifetime. If you get a professional quality saw, you won't have to replace it. With an 80cc saw, it just doesn't slow down even cutting large trees, but it is heavy for de-limbing the trees. A good axe is worth the investment for taking the limbs off.

    When the temp drops, you need to go to a lower viscosity oil for the bar. I'm sure there is a chart out there somewhere, but I'd say when you get around the freezing point switch to engine oil i.e. 10-40 or 5-30, and then as it gets colder start adding atf to thin out the oil.

    I've found good chains are too hard to file. Have several loops so you don't have to sharpen in the field, and sharpen them with a grinder at home. As the chains wear down, you need to grind down the depth stops to keep the chain cutting.

    I'd say go with at least a 50cc and you'll find you have plenty of power. Keep your eyes out for deals on used pro saws, I got my 181 for $160, I put another $100 in a new bar and a couple of chains and other than a carb rebuild kit I just add fuel and bar oil and go cut.

  10. #10
    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    Ive searched around on the forum about Chainsaw advice and didn't find too much so I though Id start a new thread.

    Here are a few questions and observations I have:

    I have a Poulon 295 with a 20" bar and its served me pretty well. Im actually on my second saw of this type and for the most part its a pretty good saw. I think its a little underpowered for a 20" bar but with a sharp chain Ive been pretty satisfied with the saw. But the one I have now is starting to see some wear and I am thinking about pulling the trigger on a new saw for the summer wood cutting season. What the best brand for the money? Ive been looking at Stihl but they are spendy. I know you get what you pay for but is it worth the extra coin?

    Sharpening:

    I try to keep ontop of my chains and sharpen them just about every time I gas up. This seems to work ok. But I can never get that factory edge back on the chain. Ive tried the dremel method and thats faster but most of the time in the field it the good old round file and time that gets used the most. Anyone have a good advice or link on sharpening chains? And it it worth it to invest in one of those sharpeners like this one: http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdet...5200&catID=131

    Bigger saw, bigger bar, bigger chain better cutting? I think this is self explanatory. What the best all around wood cutting saw size for AK.

    Im pretty safe and if I feel uneasy about any situation such as felling, or an awquard cutting angle I move on, it not worth it for the firewood to risk injury. What saftey equipment do you guys use? I wear earplug, and saftey glasses and work boots, but I have not been in the situation where I think I need to wear leg protectors. What do you guys think.

    And finally Ive heard that in the spring you can fell Birch trees and leave them lay and once the leaf out without their root system, it sucks all the moisture out of them so that you can use them safely the next winter. Is there any truth to this?

    Cutting wood in the cold. Recently with our Fairbanks cold Ive been doing som cutting in the extreme cold. Ive richened up my oil to gas ration in my saw and it seems to run pretty good. The bar oil is another problem at -30 bar oil doesn't want to flow very well. Does anyone have some tricks to help it flow besides keeping the bar oil warm? Inside the cowling of the snowmachine in a metal bottle works pretty well as long as your not sitting with the machine off for too long.

    Finally, splitting. I usually split the wood as I need it instead of splitting it all once I get it. I split it if the wood is at all wet but if it dry I find it keeps better if they are left in rounds and elevated off the ground. I think the bark helps protect the wood. I put mine on pallets with sheets of old roofing ontop so the wood can breath and the water runs off.

    Stay warm out there and enjoy those nights by the fire when you know it was your work that is keeping you warm. It bring an satifying feeling to me. A good fire and a warm house makes a easier winter.
    I was a logger for 8 years and Stihl is the way to go. I started with a Oregon and it was ok but the Stihl just feels better and cuts better. The safety issue is very important. I watched a limb fall on my buddy a few years back and he died hours later. Watch for the "widow makers" If you're looking for a nice mid-sized saw with plenty of power and not overly heavy try this one http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS270.html That's the one I have for personal use and it is perfect for cutting firewood. For something a bit bigger and a little more power you could try this http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS310.html this is a tough little saw.

  11. #11
    Member Michael's Avatar
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    I've been running my 031 with a 24" bar pretty steady since 1976. If it takes 3 pulls to start it's time for a tune-up. I only use stihl oil (gas and bar) and I NEVER loan it out. In the winter I sometimes go to 5W-30W motor oil for the bar. If it's not slinging oil off the bar end when you rev it, it's time to thin it down a little.

    I bought my wife a 210 easy start and she loves it. For the Glennallen area we've found it is all the saw that is needed. The only complaint I have is that the short bar requires a lot more bending over. But hey, that's a good excuse to fire up the sauna;})

  12. #12

    Default Get a stihl

    and one of the new oregon chain sharpeners. You can get a new stihl for around $440. Worth every penny.

  13. #13
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    My dad gave my his Partner S65 (65cc) that he bought back in the early '80's. We cut a lot of wood with it back then. Now, all these years later it is still making work for me.

    I had a much smaller saw before and I think if I was buy a new one I would get one of similar size. Even though I don't curt bug trees, I really loved the long bar (24") when I started using a saw buck.

    The other thing I wish I had was an adjustable oiler because of what you said about the lack of flow when cold.

    I have 4 kids, and only the 3 and 1.5 year old show any interest in helping with the wood. I need to do something about that!

  14. #14

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    I grew up cutting every year with the same Stihl, just used it for a stump this fall... 30 yrs and goin' strong. The fire crews I've worked use them exclusively. The pro's here use them. Consensus is buy a Stihl.

    However to address your question on chain sharpening, that is just a part of using a saw for a whole day. You will have to sharpen at least once for a short day's work, and usualy more for a long day, especialy dependant on what you are cutting. Just keep a good sharp file handy, along with a sharper spare... 3 passes per tooth goes by pretty quick with practice.

  15. #15

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    I don't know what kind of shape you are in. I have a Stihl 028 amd 044. The 44 kicks my butt by the end of the day. When I was younger I could keep up with the saw. Now I grab the 028 unless I really need a bigger saw for the job.

  16. #16
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    I run a Husky 353, brother runs a Stihl, not sure on the model. No complaints from either.

    I would go with which dealer has the best service in your area.

  17. #17

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    I own a saw shop and strictly modify saws for pro cutters. (I am not soliciting business. we are booked solid)

    The best advice I could give any one is to buy a PRO saw and not a home owner saw. Also buy from the best servicing dealer nearest you. Parts and service is very important.

    Learn to sharpen your chain and keep up with maintenance and your saw will last a good long time.

    If you buy a used saw, buy something modern so you will parts available for years to come.

    Saws such as the 031 (great old saw) you will have a heck of a time finding any parts for.

  18. #18
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I bought my wood cutting helper a Stihl 361 for right around $600. He is paying it off by cutting wood for me. It doubled his production over the older, less powerful Stihl he was using. It is an excellent saw for Alaskan sized trees.

    I personally run a Husky 365 and it will run right with the Stihl 361 all day long. The 365 is a non-current model so I don't know what the replacement is.

    Both saws are professional level saws and that is all I will buy. If you are heating exclusively with wood it pays in the long run to buy professional grade saws. They will last longer and usually have a much better power to weight ratio.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  19. #19
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default Dealers?

    Is the only Stihl dealerin Fairbanks Jackovich? It the one I found on the Stihl site. I think Im leaning towards for the 361. Unless I can find something else local. Thanks for all the input.

  20. #20
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    Jackovich is the only Stihl dealer that I'm aware of. He treated me real good when I was having problems with my 031 (was my stepdad's new). A new flywheel and I was running again.

    That is the best saw I've ever had and never loan it out. I know it isn't recommended, but I've plunge drove it into an oak log after someone told me they could do it with a husky. Their saw kept dying, so I put the Stihl to the test.

    I run with lighter oil in the winter, but it has always started on the second pull. I'll recommend a Stihl to anyone who wants to have a long lasting saw that'll last your life time and then some.

    As for sharpening, keep a good file & gauge with you when you go out into the woods, it'll let you touch it up at any time.

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