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Thread: Chain Saws

  1. #1
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Default Chain Saws

    I need a chainsaw and I don't know anything about them other than how to use one. I've seen some guys saws that were worse than a hand saw and some that cut through birch like butter. I'm looking for the latter. I just need to cut up deadfall for firewood to take camping. I'll take all suggestions on brands, size, ect.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    3 things you need to know about a chain saw.... Sharpen, Sharpen, Sharpen... Other than that probably any 16" or 18" chain saw that has local servicing will do the job for you... However Myself I'd go with a Stihl or a husqvarna...

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    3 things you need to know about a chain saw.... Sharpen, Sharpen, Sharpen... Other than that probably any 16" or 18" chain saw that has local servicing will do the job for you... However Myself I'd go with a Stihl or a husqvarna...
    plus 2 on this comment! And the Husqvarnas you get at home depot or lowes are not the same as if you go to a dedicated saw store.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I flaged/staked/brushed the border of my 20 acre remote lake front property with a little teeny tiny husqvarna. I had a 16 inch bar and is still kickin strong. I used it for cutting firewood, cutting hole for water/fishing, and even attached a mini chainsaw mill to it. The trees in my area weren't all that big, and I bought it for the weight. I had to carry it on my back hiking for many miles along with about 90lbs of other crap. An 18 inch bar would be better, but the little motor ripped. The thing weighs all of 6 lbs.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Frankly you can start a real fight debating which chainsaw is best. But for the use you describe just about any of them are gonna perform if you keep the chain sharp and keep it out of the dirt.

    I've been using a 16" Husqvarna for 5 years and I cut two or three cords of deadfall and clear some brush every year. If I were heating with wood and blowing through 10 or more cords a year I would get something bigger... but for my intermittent use what I got is just fine. Prior to that I had a 14" Homeliite that was older than I was and for light duty chores it was fantastic.

    You can get a 20" super saw but that'll be quite a lot for something to zip up camp wood.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Frankly you can start a real fight debating which chainsaw is best. But for the use you describe just about any of them are gonna perform if you keep the chain sharp and keep it out of the dirt.

    I've been using a 16" Husqvarna for 5 years and I cut two or three cords of deadfall and clear some brush every year. If I were heating with wood and blowing through 10 or more cords a year I would get something bigger... but for my intermittent use what I got is just fine. Prior to that I had a 14" Homeliite that was older than I was and for light duty chores it was fantastic.

    You can get a 20" super saw but that'll be quite a lot for something to zip up camp wood.
    thanks for the parallel thought on this one hodge. You've alway been quite practical on this forum. We don't have big 2.5ft. diameter oak trees up here yah know? I think I paid all of $175 for my little husqy back in 2006. Still kickin strong, and now that I've finally worn out the bar......time to go to an 18" as that would be just about perfect.

  7. #7

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    I prefer a Sthil. Remember to stay away from Y's in the trees...and larger limbs...cut above and below them. The dust, dirt and volcanic ash collects in the joints and will dull a chain in relatively short order. Sometime even a rock can be wedged in the crooks.
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    Don't know what is best but I have 2 Stihls - 036 and 025 and they are both great - when the blades are sharp birch is butter.

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    I've used a few chains saws at work over the last 25 yrs... I own 2 stihls. An 018 and an 026Pro. Good for light duty and other good for med-medium hvy duty. Stihl is great all around saw. Huskies as mentioned are also very good saws. My second pick only cuz if u don't get em started right away, u mite as well walk away for a while. They can be finicky on flooding it. But that said, a good solid saw. Wouldnt recommend any other saws if u want a serious saw.

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    I only paid $150 fer my Wild Thing 18" Poulan (which is owned by the same company that owns Huskies)in '07 & it's paid fer itself in cords o' wood cut up, & then some! All I've ever had to do with it was either change the chain, sharpen or clean the screen...keep the right 'mout o' oil & gass in there, keep the chain tight, & oiled & you can't go wrong...

  11. #11
    jwolf
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    A Sthil or a Husqvarna will get the job done depending on bar length and what you need downed.. Donít go tackling a Cottonwood with some short bared chainsaw lol!! Keep it sharp and know what youíre doing.. Know your wedges and how to fall a tree, depending on the tree, you could get kilt so understand what youíre doing! Dang.. I think itís more imperative to know how to fall a tree vs. what saw to use..

  12. #12
    jwolf
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    Of course deadfall for firewood to take camping; well, I'd just use a hatchet.. or a coleman pocket saw; you know it makes the whole ordeal seem that much more 'real.' and.. great ;-)

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    I would have to 'second, third, fourth' (I lost count) the suggestion for a Stihl. I bought a MS250 about two years ago & have only had one regret- THAT I WAITED SO LONG TO BUY ONE!!! Had a Homelite 330 and it was a very good saw, but the Stihl MS250 kicks it's butt all over the woodlot.

  14. #14

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    Go buy a STIHL! Will save you a lot of $$ in the long run!

  15. #15
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Info in prior threads:
    Posts by Paul H in the first link are esp informative:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...66403-Chainsaw...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...laska?p=818430

    Good luck
    Last edited by 6XLeech; 04-28-2011 at 07:22. Reason: typo

  16. #16
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I also like Stihl. I believe mine is an FS290 with a 20" bar.
    I would also recommend you get a file kit with a file guide. This ensures you set the right angle when you are sharpening. Also use the flat file occasionally on the rakers and it will cut much faster. The rakers determine the depth of the cut and they make a guage for that as well to make them Approx the same height as the teeth. I prefer a couple of extra swipes of the flat file so it cuts a bit faster but you have to keep it sharp as well for this to work.
    Also don't forget a saw helmet with screen visor and hearing protection and a set of saw chaps. Hate to see you get hurt.
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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    I've used both "good saws" and "throw away" saws. Back in the day I liked McCulloch, but they are a throw away now, Echo being another throw away, (plus the Echo will hardly run in the winter).

    Sthil and Husqvarna are keepers. Along with everything else, I use mine in the winter to clear trail. I chose Sthil and got one with cold weather options so it will run at -20 and in the snow.

    So it depends on what you need. If you run a chain saw a couple of times in the summer or want one to throw in your boat to cut camp wood once or twice a year, buy a $150.00 throw away. And just toss it when it starts acting up. If you use it a lot and need something dependable buy a $700 keeper with the options you need and take care of it.

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    I picked up a Husky 61, 5 years ago at a garage sale for $35. it started on the second pull. besides be louder than heck, it's been a sweet machine. Got a 22" bar on it and can't complain. Keeps me in firewood for the house no problem. That said, I ran Stihl saws for work for a few years. Every thing from a 032 to and 090. Stihl is a great saw.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  19. #19
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I also like Stihl. I believe mine is an FS290 with a 20" bar.
    I would also recommend you get a file kit with a file guide. This ensures you set the right angle when you are sharpening. Also use the flat file occasionally on the rakers and it will cut much faster. The rakers determine the depth of the cut and they make a guage for that as well to make them Approx the same height as the teeth. I prefer a couple of extra swipes of the flat file so it cuts a bit faster but you have to keep it sharp as well for this to work.
    Also don't forget a saw helmet with screen visor and hearing protection and a set of saw chaps. Hate to see you get hurt.
    i think this is great advice and Very Key to the whole scene, keeping it sharp, learn to do it yourself, with the right tools, and you'll find the saw that cuts like butter, it's all in the chain maintenance.
    Beside ease of cutting, having Finely Sharpened chains as a top priority, vs. just muscleing thru when it gets dull, will be really nice on your saw, it'll run a lot longer if not asked to smoke it's way thru stuff.
    Keep it Sharp, and have spare chains around that are sharp as razors also when out in the field.

    As to the saw you choose, I'd say try to get a feel for them in the shop, if there's a shop that'll actually let you run them a bit, or if you have a friend with a saw you can fire up and feel it running/cutting that'd help immensely.

    I got the chance to run saws building log homes commercially when I was young, and there really is "a feel" to the saw you'll want.

    for example, Stihl's are really great saws, have a high reputation among the pros, and some just swear by them. I like the machinery of a Stihl but when comparing, over hours of felling and carving logs with both Stihls and Husqvarnas, the Stihl just feels a little clunky and awkward in comparison to the Husky. (just my personal preferrence there)

    So after running several types of both saws for many hours of hard work in the woods, I chose Husqvarna and have now run several Husky's, for lots of years in the woods, never worn one out, etc. they are really well built, beautiful pieces of machinery

    All that to say, you'll like how a saw feels in your hands after just a little while of running it (maybe even in the store, the weight of it and balance, etc.) and that oughta be your choice, get one that'll be a joy to run for hours, cause work in the woods'll tax your whole body in enough ways that your saw should not be adding to that with high vibration level or unwieldy weight balance.

    I'd also say, buy high quality, it's one tool that'll pay for itself in quality build many times over.
    Husqvarna, or Stihl, you won't regret either, don't settle for anything less.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  20. #20
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Stihl....keep it sharpened and forget about anything else...
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