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Backup Chainsaw suggestions

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Jambx, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Jambx

    Jambx Member

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    OK guys – I have had my Stihl 270 for 2 years now – have nothing but great things to say about it – cut ~10+ cords of mostly hard wood – starts right up, very little vibration, goes a long way per fill up etc and felt this is all the saw I ever needed – then Hurricane Sandy hit. My brother has a red oak than dropped with a 4 foot base and convinced me to take it so there I was 3 days of fun (really it was) however it got me thinking if my 270 ever where to acts up it would be nice to have a back up and after this weekend playing the game of "I will cut on both sides of the tree" with my 18 inch (36 effective cut) and could only manage to get up to 40 inch diameter with a lot of struggling and hammering the side with my tractor bucket to snap off the cut I was now thinking of getting a second saw with a larger bar.

    So my question is for my back up saw what would you recommend (model and bar size) to augment my 270 - from a funding standpoint I would love to find a used one since I don’t see myself using it a lot but you never know.

    Suggestions?.......

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    albert1029 likes this.

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  2. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Burning Hunk

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    I would suggest renting or borrowing a larger saw to tackle that tree. I run a saw similar to yours and MS261 w/ 18" as well. If I came across a tree that size I would either borrow my BIL's MS460, or rent an MS660 from my dealer.
  3. Jambx

    Jambx Member

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    Thx Clyde,

    I "now" would agree with you! however, I think in the future it would be wise to have a "back-up" and was wondering after this weekend what would be a nice larger size saw to augment my 18 inch 270. Initially I was thinking a 361 with a 25 inch bar. I really did not have a huge amount of trouble cutting this large Oak however a little more grunt and a few more inches would have been nice.
  4. Trundle

    Trundle Member

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    Hi Jambx. Great score on that oak. As for a back-up saw, I'd say you're right on the money with that 361 - great saws and can spin a 28" chain no problem. I'm a logger here in Montana and my go to saw is the 440. I've got two of them as well as a 660 for the bigger days. Anyway, just had to chime in when I saw you considering the 361. Pretty tough to find around here since they quit making them but looking around on ebay might get you a good deal on a used one. That's the direction I'd probably go. Oh, and your last sentence sounds like something any number of ex girlfriends might say...:)
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    If you really want a back-up saw then just go get one. I've never seen a need except when I was logging. But for cutting firewood, I've never seen a need for owning 2 saws. However, my wife is trying to convince me to get a lighter saw for the limbing and cutting small trees. I'm still not convinced.
    AJS56 likes this.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    You are having "New saw fever"
    Normal after yo get into a tree that needed a bigger saw. :)
    Find out how big of a bar you can get for your 270,,, for the few times you need it it would get thru OK.
    OR
    Buy a new bigger saw, then you already have a back-up , the 270. ;)

    Some good choices:
    361 , 440 Stihl 25"
    562 or 372 XP Husqvarna with 24" http://www.husqvarna.com/us/forest/products/xp-saws/562-xp/#specifications
  7. jeepmedic

    jeepmedic Member

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    I agree. I would get a new bigger saw. Use your 270 as the backup, or even the primary. You really like it and trust the reliability, both excellent qualities in a backup saw.

    I bought my 441 to replace my 290, but still use my 290 60-70% of the time. Its always nice to have a bigger saw though :)
  8. Jambx

    Jambx Member

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    Thanks Jeepmedic! - I think you summed it up perfectly. Now the hunt for a nice 361 begins.
  9. JTP11

    JTP11 Member

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    You will not regret the 361. I've had mine with a 20" bar for 6 yrs. Great saw!
    TreePointer likes this.
  10. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    How often will you be cutting trees more than 30" in diameter? If that is often, then yes you should get the new saw. I cut a 30" tree a year ago, and thought man I need a new saw. Then I realized it's only once every few years I cut a tree that big.
    AJS56, osagebow and midwestcoast like this.
  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    -edited for clarity-
    I'm with red oak, every few years I get a tree that pushes my saw to the limit. I say that means it's just the right size.
    If you're set on another one and that it'll be a back-up go with a used 390 or a Makita 6501 from Home Depot to save $.
    If you'll use it as a primary saw, well, they say a 361 is pretty nice ;)
  12. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I'm gonna disagree here. If you want more saw go 70 cc class to compliment the 270. MS 460 would be my pick. Nice powerful saw to run a longer bar, & a wicked fast saw with a 20" bar for everyday cutting when you want a bit more than the 270. Good used ones can be had in the 3-500 price range. A C
    Thistle and Nixon like this.
  13. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    I use my sthil 290 with 20 inch bar for everything. If it is too big around, I cut what I can and then noodle the pieces off.If that makes sense.
    AJS56 and StihlHead like this.
  14. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    I just recently had the same itch you have. I scratched this past weekend with a new Husqvarna 372xp. Not sure if your a die hard Stihl fan but everthing I read made the 372 out to be a great saw with nobody regretting their purchase. Here's the thread I started when I inquired and ultimately purchase the 372. http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/second-saw-to-compliment-a-346xp.94779/

    Now I just have to actually cut some wood with it.
  15. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Should be a lotta lightly used saws up that way being sold I would think.
  16. Blue2ndaries

    Blue2ndaries Minister of Fire

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    Agree w/what's been said about the bigger saw. My "backup saw" is the first one I ever bought over 11 years ago--a Stihl MS250c w/16in bar. Upgraded 2 summers ago to a MS362 w/a 25" bar and never looked back.
  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
    I think you're right.
    Should be several used saws hitting CL soon thru 2013, may be some good buys to be had.
    Sandy saws ;)
    TreePointer likes this.
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I think AC is pretty close to nailing this but I suggested a slightly different course of action for another 270 owner so here goes.

    Sell the 270. You heard me. ( :eek: )

    Go get your MS362/MS361. New or used, your choice. Because that's going to be the saw you pick up 80% of the time from now on. I loved the MS270 for the same reasons you do. But with a 361/2 in the stable, the MS270 just ain't got much to offer. Kinda like having two of the same car, one with a 6 cyl, the other a V8. Which one you wanna drive? ;)

    You can use the funds from the MS270 sale to offset the cost of the new/new to you saw or pick up a small saw like the MS211 or MS181 for the times when the MS361/2 is overkill or just plain awkward.

    This way you'll have two saws that you will use, both with a purpose, instead of having two similar sized and purposed saws with one as a "backup".
    Got Wood likes this.
  19. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

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    I own 2 saws but not necessarily as a backup rather using them both simultaneously cutting bigger trees with the 290 then switching to the 180 for limbing and smaller wood then back to the 290 to finish bucking the main log.there have been time when I pinched a bar and had to run the other saw to relieve the situation.
  20. Jambx

    Jambx Member

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    This is why I post – thanks MasterMech and Jeff for your input which is a direction I never gave much thought. I will look at possibly taking this course of action – then again the thought of selling a tool does go against my religion ;lol
  21. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    I agree with AC. Go 70cc class. Get a longer bar and a shorter. There is no replacement for displacement. On selling the 270, I personally would just keep it,as it's quickly going to become your backup once you use a 70+ cc saw.
    Thistle likes this.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I feel your pain. I have trouble letting go myself.
  23. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I have an 036 which is the old version of the 360 and recently bought a 180 with 12" bar. I find myself using the 180 for everything I can since it's so much lighter and easier to maneuver. A few pounds makes a big difference when you're cutting all day. So I would recommend both a 180/12" and then a big saw with a 20 or 25" bar. :)
  24. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, agreed that for that size wood you need a primary 60-70cc saw. 270 would be the backup saw.

    I would get a 044/440 over a 046/460 (I have owned and run the snot out of both) or the venerable 361. Put a 28 inch bar on the 440 for falling the big stuff like in your photo there, or a 25 inch bar on the 361 if you are doing more firewood cutting and part time falling. Then go to town. Keep the 270 as a backup. They are not that bad... 260 is better, but why go through all the fuss just to get a similar saw? Well, wait a minute, I have gone through about 50 saws myself... never mind... buy as many saws as you can!
  25. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Well, I'll likely get hate mail over this .:p But , so far all I've seen is Stihl recommendations . How about looking at some Husqvarna models ? the 372 , 562 xp ,and the 555 come to mind . Also, make the 270 the back up .

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