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Another saw help/comparison thread

Post in 'The Gear' started by nwmo_aggie, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. nwmo_aggie

    nwmo_aggie New Member

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    Have been reading up quite a bit on these, but needing a bump over the edge on one or the other. Looking for a saw to do some TSI work, and some work when cutting wood. Most of my firewood is dead locust, oak, some hickory, hackberry and whatever else is growing in the way here in NC MO.

    Have a 60cc saw, and no interest in anything bigger. Also have a MS180C and 011AVT Stihl. So I'm looking at 50cc saws to split the gap. Looking for more hp than the stihls, and less weight vs the bigger saw.

    Here's the short list:
    Stihl 261

    Echo CS-450p

    Echo CS-500P. This looks like it has more displacement and less weight vs the 450p, how does that work?

    Husq 346xpg

    All look to be pretty similar in high level features, weight, and hard to say about output. I have an echo trimmer, and like it, so would have synergy with common fuel mix. I've heard some concerns with the amount of plastic on the echo, which lends to its weight. There's no place near that stock much more than the home/farm grade saws, not these pro saws. But I could order. There are dealers near that I could get parts, or there's always stuff a click away.

    Am I off in ranking these pretty similar, and just buy one that looks/feels best, or are there bigger differences somewhere I'm not seeing? For the Echo guys, how would you differentiate between the 450p and 500p?

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  2. HatCityIAFF

    HatCityIAFF Burning Hunk

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    I can't tell the difference in cutting with a 50cc vs. 60cc saw, especially when putting it through dead wood were the saw isn't working that hard. BUT, if it was me, i'd totally pick up the 346xp or 261 in a heartbeat.
  3. splitoak

    splitoak Member

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    Is that money burning a hole in your pocket??.lol..a 60cc saw with a sharp chain should take care of just about anything..:)
  4. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Agreed... I don't see much of a gap between a 30cc saw and a 60cc saw. If it's too big for my 180/12", my 036/20" takes care of it.
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    If it were my choice I'd go for the MS261 or the 346XP although I'm more partial to the 346 as I think it has better balance than my friend's 260.
  6. nwmo_aggie

    nwmo_aggie New Member

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    Not just itching to spend, but seemed like the 180 is short on ponies sometimes, and don't want to completely use it up since it's a nice light saw for small work. My bigger saw is an older Mac PM610. A nice saw but heavy, it seemed like the ones I listed off had almost the same output as my bigger one, but with the weight of the small saw.
  7. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Another case of CAD beginning to bloom;lol
  8. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    That makes it sound like you're kinda wanting to replace the big one rather than splitting the gap, which is a more practical question.

    Different design, different materials. Just looking at the specs summaries on Echo's website, the sprocket cover is aluminum on the 450 and magnesium on the 500. There will be many other differences besides displacement, and displacement isn't a perfect indicator of power output anyhow. This sort of variation in power:weight ratio can be found in most manufacturers' product lines.
  9. splitoak

    splitoak Member

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    Some guys on here get the makita saws from the home depot rental...its a dolmer with makita logo...supposed to be a great saw..i think in the $200's oh its 64 cc i believe
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    In my experience, those used Makita rental saws from Home Depot are often difficult to get. They only let one go at certain times of year, and sometimes the person in charge of these things has a "list." That is, they go to a "friend" instead of the next customer who asks for one.
  11. bassJAM

    bassJAM Feeling the Heat

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    I agree that a 50cc isn't really needed, but I'd opt for a 550xp instead of the 346xp. After running one, you'll probably never pick up the Stihl's again. Or your Mac. I seem to cut up to about 14-16" with my 550xp before I think about reaching for my much heavier Makita 64cc saw.
  12. nwmo_aggie

    nwmo_aggie New Member

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    So I went to an Echo dealer this week...an actual dealer vs. a retail store. Was asking about the Echo 450P vs the 500p. Story I got was that the 450 is an Echo design saw. The 500 is a Shindawa design with a big focus on making the block and overall saw as light as possible.

    Anyone see any merits or demerits to either design?
  13. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    I have an echo 370 and 590. Both saws are great. They both run and start easy. The biggest advantage I see with the echo is the fuel efficiently. While my father(stihl 290) is refueling I still running for another 10 min. You are right, most of the higher end saws are based on the Shindaiwa design.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  14. nwmo_aggie

    nwmo_aggie New Member

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    Just to ask...is it efficiency or capacity? The echo does have a larger fuel tank if I'm reading it right.

    So should a guy specifically seek out the Shindawa designed saws?
  15. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

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    If you are going to do TSI type work, you do not want anything bigger than a 50 CC class. I like the 346's a lot but they are pretty hard to come by new now days and the one you listed, XPG is a heated handle one. The new model would be the 545 or 550XP.
  16. Prof

    Prof Burning Hunk

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    I have a 261 and absolutely love the thing. Honestly, I notice very little difference between my 261 and 362--excepth the weight difference at the end of the day. I would not hesitate to buy this saw again.

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