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346xp or 357xp?

Post in 'The Gear' started by jesse, Apr 25, 2008.

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  1. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    Looking for a little advice here on which saw I should get. In a perfect world I would get a 372xp and a 346xp.

    I have a 55 rancher I bought new 9 years ago - replaced the muffler and recoil - broke the cap to the bar oil - otherwise problem free. It's a little underpowered for some of the cutting I do (3.4 hp at 11.0 lbs.) I have only really used husky's and I like the local dealer. So all you stihl guys don't try to sway me on this one.

    I cut mostly hardwood, usually dead standing - beech, maple, birch and some red oak for firewood. I would guess about 20 cord a year. Most of the trees are between 12 and 24 inches on the stump - a LOT of limbing and rarely anything over 30 inches.

    I also am part of clearing fields to be put back into use for organic farming. Some of which involves limbing trees around the outside of the fields. I have a 12 foot pole saw - but some of the oaks have massive branches. Sometimes my old man lifts me up on the forks of an old M international and I use the 55 to cut the big branches off - the 55 can get a little heavy reaching.

    I perfer the lighter saw but, I don't know if the 346 has enough umpf not to bind up or if it can handle some of the bigger jobs. The new 2008 346 has 3.7 hp at 10.6 lbs while the 357 has 4.4 hp at 12.1 lbs. The money is an issue but not a huge one - I imagine the saw is going to last me a long time. The difference is about $110.

    At this point I am leaning towards the 346 - opinions?

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  2. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I have a 346 and it's a great saw but if you think your 55 is a little under-powered you may want the 357XP. The 346 NE has a more "grunty" powerband but it still isn't a super big powerhouse. It does make a great lightweight limbing/smaller wood saw.
    "
    The 357 will be more versatile for large/small jobs but is a bit heaver than the 346. IMO opinion the best bars on the 346 is a 16" or 18" but not larger. What are your local prices on each saw? Have you also considered a Dolmar or Stihl?
  3. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    If I remember correctly the 346 was around 540 and the 357 about 650
  4. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    I have read good things about dolmar but there aren't any local dealers - The husky dealer also carries jonsered. The stihl guy is about 30 minutes away and he is "slow" in more than one way. I want to stick with husky - im a one saw kinda guy.
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    That seems pretty high on the 346XP you might want to see if you can negotiate down. I paid $430 for my 346 in January.

    Depending on your area you might wait a bit and see if a good saw pops up on craigslist. I bought the Stihl 056 in my sig for $100 on craigslist.
  6. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    wait - u're right - the 2007 was 346 was 440 the new 2008 is 510 the 357 is 630
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The XP has carb and handle heating switches, I believe. Do you really need that? I live where it's pretty cold, have a 372XP, and rarely use either. I got the XP because I thought the heating would be useful. The 372 handles an 18" bar effortlessly.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I cut pretty much the same wood as you do, and I cut about 20 cords per year. I have the 346XP and I think it's the perfect saw for this kind of work. I had a Model 55 before that, and the 346 has a lot more power than my old 55. I've found that you can do a lot more--a lot easier--with a lighter, more powerful saw.

    The handle heaters are a nice option on the 346XP, but they're still an option.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Actually the stock XP saws do not have the heating options, but it is an option on most of the XP lineup. XPG is the heated handle option on most Husky saws.

    I'll defer to Eric since he's switching up from the same saw you are, and when I use my 346XP I'm moving down from my 372XPW but I still find it a far sight better than the 455R I sold last year.

    With the right attitude and some haggling you should be able to walk away from the dealer with a new 346XP NE for around $475.
  10. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    so now im thinking about a 372xp - the power to weight ratio is awesome - the saw might be heavier but it probably chews through things faster. I could get two different length bars to begin with like a 18 and a 24 - and when i can afford it - i'll trade or sell my 55 towards a 346xp.

    - I don't need anything heated - i move fast ;)
  11. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Guess I was in error on the model for the heating. The 372 has been great for me, very pleased, no problems of any kind in the 5 years that I have owned it. Always use premium gas with stabilizer. I've thought about a longer bar, but so far the 18" has worked great, even when I have to cut in from both sides.
  12. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help so far - i'll be going in on monday to get one - still not sure which one
  13. loneeagle15

    loneeagle15 New Member

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    I love my 346 so far cuts everything I've thrown at it including 3' round cottonwood
  14. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I run both a 346XP and a 357XP on a regular basis. For the tasks you describe I would easily pick the 357XP.

    A 372XP would obviously do the job, but I find it to be overkill for most of the work I do, and I certainly get tired quicker using it.
  15. jesse

    jesse New Member

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    thanks for everyone's input. I went with the 346xp after getting my dealer to go down some. I paid 493 and change after tax with a 16" bar and chain - but no other extras.
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You won't be disappointed, Islander. That's one heck of a saw.
  17. stoz

    stoz New Member

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    I have both saws, love the 346 not sure in your situation which one but I know I dropped 100 + trees in a weekend with the 346, alot nicer to haul around the woods.

    Scott
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