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Advice on new limbing saw - 346XP?

Post in 'The Gear' started by moosetrek, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    OK so my progression has gone: Husky 345, then added a Husky 55 Rancher, sold it and added a 372XP last winter. I love the 372 - it's a beast (keep in mind I'm in the West, and cut 90% pine and aspen - so "beast" is relative). But I'd really like something fast and light for bucking small (6-15") logs and limbing. Probably will be a go-to saw for everything except the felling and big bucking. I'd love the 346XP, but after adding the 372 last year I'm having a hard time dropping $500+ on a new saw.

    I'll seel my 345 which is in good shape, and should cover a big chunk of the new one. Looking in the $250-$350 price range. Not much used selection.

    So far choices are:
    Jonsered 2245
    Jonsered 2152
    Stihl MS250 (demo model for $240)

    Husky / Jonsered dealer is great, but doesn't have a Jonsered 2153. Stihl is from a box ranch supply store.
    Any other ideas? Should I keep the 345, tune and port it, and just use that?

    Thanks!

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    As a starting point, the "consensus" top of the line 50cc saws are as follows:

    NE346XP (Jonsered 2153)
    Dolmar 5100s
    Stihl 260/260 pro

    Just hitting the shelves in the USA is the Stihl 261 (replaces the 260), which has the possibility of topping them all. Try to get one of each in your hands before you purchase.
  3. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Just checked the specs on the 261 - looks pretty impressive although the price is over $550. Looks like 3.75HP in a 50CC saw... should give the 346 some competition if that's the case.
  4. mrfjsf

    mrfjsf Member

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    [quote author="moosetrek" date="I'll seel my 345 which is in good shape, and should cover a big chunk of the new one. Looking in the $250-$350 price range. Not much used selection.

    So far choices are:
    Jonsered 2245
    Jonsered 2152
    Stihl MS250 (demo model for $240)

    Husky / Jonsered dealer is great, but doesn't have a Jonsered 2153. Stihl is from a box ranch supply store.
    Any other ideas? Should I keep the 345, tune and port it, and just use that?

    Thanks![/quote]

    If you dont want to spend much more than $350, try to pick up a new Dolmar 5105. I hear they perform well for a 50cc saw. They can be had for just under $400. Otherwise id ge the 345 worked on...
  5. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Thoughts:
    I would NOT sell the 345 just to buy either a MS250 or J-red 2245 (445). I just don't think you're gaining anything at all in either of those trades, just spending $$.
    I also would not spend much $ on heating-up a 345, but if you have tools & ability to port it yourself, then why not? Sounds like fun. Just a muff-mod should give noticeable gain too. Maybe enough to tide you over 'till you've got the $ for a faster saw.
    2152 (353) would add some power for you & I hear they're nice, but why do I get the feeling that you'd always be wondering how much faster a 346XP/2152 would be? Oh, 'cause it's right there in the title. lol
    i agree that Dolmar 5100/5105 could do you about as good as the 346 for a bit le$$.
    You could also pick-up a used Husky 350 cheap on ebay ($100-150?) & port that. You can take your time on it since you still have both your saws running. If the port job goes well, sell the 345 & it cost you nothing. If you mess-up, sell it for parts.
  6. CJW88

    CJW88 Member

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    How about just saving your money and using what you have. I have a hard time believing that with those three saws you can't do what you need to do.
  7. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    CJW88, It's only two saws - the 55 Rancher was sold for the 372. I can definitely keep the 345, but the problem is it's just a little too light (aka underpowered) for working comfortably in the sizes of wood I have. Therefore, I tend to use the 372 more than I need to for limbing and bucking; and a 15# saw takes a toll on the back and shoulders during the course of the day. I think someone posted that for every tree the average is one fellign cut, 6-7 branch / big bucking cuts, and then like 20+ follow-up cuts to get into firewood size. So I'm using the big saw for 90% of the work, vs 20-30%. Adds up over a day or two's labor. As midwestcoast mentioned I think the answer is make do until I can afford the 346XP. No sense compromising if I can keep the 345 going til I save some pennies; especially if the gains to the 2245 or 353 are minimal. And I have yet to hear a bad review on the 346; sound like pound-for-pound a heck of a saw. I'll stop at the dealer tomorrow on the way to cut, need some supplies anyway. I expect he'll have one I can try out to compare. Thanks as always!
  8. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

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    For what it is worth... It looks like Stihl's new MS261 is coming closer to the 346 specs than the old MS260 pro. Big bucks, but looks potentially interesting.

    11.6 lbs. 3.75 hp.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS261.html
  9. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    The 261 is getting rave reviews from users who've got 'em so far. My only issue is the P:W ratio--it's only 1/2 pound lighter than the 361 and almost 3/4 HP less. It's supposed to be silky smooth and torquey, though.

    S
  10. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I'd save for the 346. You will be very pleased!
  11. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I just got a 42cc Dolmar 420 that I fell in love with after cutting some cookies with it at the local dealer. I think it would be great limbing saw. It is torquey as all get out, really feels strong for a little saw. A bit heavy for its class, but it really cuts like a bigger saw. Still, weighs just over 12 pounds with full fluids and a 16" bar and .325 pitch chain.

    They don't call it a "Pro" saw, but it certainly is built like one. Two-piece die-cast magnesium crankcase, three-piece crankshaft, adjustable oiler. Very nicely balanced and low vibration. Ridiculously easy to start. A fun saw, real quality at almost half the price of a 260. Complements my 357XP very nicely.
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    put a 32 inch on that 372 perfect limbing saw...jmho I normally will not grab another saw unless the chain is dull or out of gas.
  13. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Stopped at the dealer and checked out the 346 and the Jred 2152, both nice saws. Probably will put the 346 on layaway and just keep the 345 to throw in the jeep for backroad forest trails. I dropped a telephone pole on the 345 last summer, so the replacement handles and chain brake are almost $75, plus it needs a new bar and a couple chains. So I'm looking at almost $150, which is 30% of the 346. It doesn't seem to make sense to put $150 into it then sell it for $200; I'll prob nurse it along for a while and keep my eye on the 346.

    Smokinjay, the 372 came with a 32, it's hanging in my shop - that's a lot of teeth to sharpen!
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    More teeth cut longer......Limbing saw to me is very light micro chain set up. 70cc saw's more versatile than most think. (dropping a couple pounds for a 50cc saw or even a 60cc saw just dont make sense I know I have done it) Keep your 372 into play as much as possible its stronger faster and way more versatile than the 346. Looking to drop weight the look at shaving more than a couple lb's. Nothing against the 346 just think the 50cc and the 70cc combo not a good plan.
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