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Chain saw shopping

Post in 'The Gear' started by Mrs. Krabappel, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I think my auntie might get me a chainsaw for Christmas!!! Actually it’s my ex’s auntie, but that’s a story for another time. Even if she doesn’t get one, I need to pick one up in the next couple of months.
    I need something to learn on, but something that I can rely on once I am more proficient. I don’t need something puny—I’m pretty strong. If my auntie gets it, she will likely mail order, which limits dealer-only saws I think.

    I don’t even know where to begin on my own, so here I am. What saw do y’all recommend?

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  2. peterc38

    peterc38 Feeling the Heat

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    Let us know the following and we can help:

    How much wood do you need to cut per year?

    What size and species of logs?

    What is the budget?
  3. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    3-4 cords mostly oak. I scrounge a lot, so log sizes vary considerably. Max $300 if I get it.
  4. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    I think you said no dealer-only saws, but I gotta say that between the support here and that of my local dealer, buying a Stihl product was a no-brainer. My MS192T was $309 with a 14" bar. As you may find here, I have some very... unique... tool needs that were non-negotiable- there are many models that are cheaper.

    For me, the ability to walk into a local shop (that happens to know my name) and say, "This isn't cutting right" and not be treated like a moron city boy (which I am) was worth a couple bucks more than a big-box-store saw.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I will catch grief for it but here is the saw I recommend. I have two of its little brothers that I have run the crap out of for three years with no problems. The decompression button for starting is a plus on this one too. It would be better if this one had a 16" bar but the 18" shouldn't be a problem.

    She can have it shipped free to your local Lowe's. And if you don't like it they take stuff back no questions asked.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_197596-86886-965084138_0__?productId=1229529
  6. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    I have a Makita/Dolmar DCS510 you can get it new for $350 or reconditioned for under $300. It's a good all around 50cc saw. Enough power to do what you want and it will not leave you a year from now wishing you would have gotten a bigger saw. I run mine most of the time with a good 16" bar and chain.
    Good luck!
    Bub
  7. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    agreed!
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    That Husky 445 is a decent little saw.Lots of snap for the size.
  9. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    I bought my saw about 7 years ago.....Craftsman 36cc with a 16 inch bar....didn't want a bigger saw 'cause I ain't got no business cuttin' anything bigger than that saw can handle....still beating the dog snot out of it to this day...even got thru the log in the picture....had to bury the saw to make the cut.
    [​IMG]
  10. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Something in the 40 to 50 cc range is probably what a "normal" saw would be. The Stihl Farm Boss or Husqvarna Ranch models fit into this profile. Your gonna need to say like $360 or a little more or your gonna probably stuck with a POS if your gonna go new. The AVL Craigslist often has used saws as does the Iwanna. I got one of my saws out of the Iwanna (out of work truck driver).
  11. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

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    find a used Stihl
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I bucked out this oak with the lil 40cc 142 16" bar just because I could not get my head around hefting the 23 pound big boy that day. Sucker cut it up like it was born for it.

    Attached Files:

  13. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    At the same time, Bart has a great idea above from Lowe's.
  14. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    7 years... Great!
    I agree you can cut through big stuff with a little saw it just takes much longer.
    I do not care for the low profile chains unless it is on an Arborist saw.
    Just my .02
    Bub
  15. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    I guess its all in our prospective. I would have gotten real board and tired of waiting on that size saw to cut that size wood. Wouldn't have a been a problem to set a bigger saw on it and let the saw do the work.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I don't know about where anybody else lives but the local Husky shop has no problem servicing Lowe's stuff. He sent me there because he didn't have the model garden tractor I needed with gear drive and I lug too much weight with one for a hydro. He said if it was Husky, bring it in. He said he does all of their warranty work here no problem.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Oh I have the saw that will rip a Pontiac in half. You are right. It was my prospective and what I wanted to heft that day. And was totally surprised at the result.

    Which has nothing to do with Kat's new saw.
  18. Joey

    Joey Feeling the Heat

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    Only doing 3-4 cords of Oak a year isnt a ton of wood. A Stihl MS250 would be the first and last saw you would ever need to accomplish your cutting needs. New, the saw is $299, you could get lucky and pick up a used one online, but they are hard to come by,,,good luck saw shopping, I love lookin at saws when i'm out in the stores.
  19. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

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    i agree with BB. i have the same saw and it runs great easy start plenty for what you need to do
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Agree. That would make her a good saw too.
  21. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    Husky/Stihl/Dolmar/Echo
    All good flavors!
    Just try to stay in the 45-50cc range.
    It does make a difference!
    Bub
  22. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    I forgot to say if you are going to buy online that baileysonline.com might be a good place to go.
  23. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I stopped at a yard sale down the street and a guy was selling one new condition for $200. We'll I only get paid once a month and there was too much month at the end of my money so I had to pass. When I got paid I went knocking on the door (against my better judgment because it was kind of a weird scene but that's how much I wanted it) and he had already sold it at the flea market :mad:

    Thanks for all the great info!
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    180 to a 250! Stihl ;-) 180 is one we use more than you would think. (Some are in the fourm of a 192T)
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    +1 on the MS250. Too bad you had to pass on that one. MS250 has just a bit more snot than the 445 but if you go Husky, try to find one at a dealer. Customer service is huge if you aren't a saw guru and need help.

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