1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

chainsaw opinions

Post in 'The Gear' started by george2c, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    Hi guys, I just sold my dads stihl 024 because he wanted a lighter saw. We have always had stihl saws, but lately I have seen alot of negative reviews on them. I was thinking ms170 for him.. I just wanted to know what you guys think stihl, husky, etc.. what do you think is the best..

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Stihl, Husqvarna, Dolmar/Makita, et al., all make lesser low end saws but also make excellent midlevel to high-end saws. "Best" is what meets your needs and is within your price range.

    Reference for this discussion:

    Stihl 024 = 41.6cc, 10.36 lbs
    Stihl 170 = 30.1cc, 8.6 lbs

    I'd get him to your local Stihl and Husqvarna dealers to pick out the saw that has the greatest displacement in a weight he likes. Or is this a surprise gift?
  3. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    no not a surprise, Just want to see if the stihls hold up like the old ones.
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,306
    Loc:
    Western PA
    All saws these days have plastic on them, so you replace the plastic part when it breaks--just how it is. If you don't throw it in the bed of your truck or use it as a prybar, any saw from a Stihl dealer should be fine.

    There are critics of some Stihl saws for their lower power-to-weight (MS-290/291) or lesser anti-vibration technology (not springs), but I have nothing that's overall negative to say about any Stihl saws currently on dealer shelves.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    The old ones where all pro saws now there is 3 lines.
    Thistle likes this.
  6. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    ok thanks guys..
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I think it comes down to: "you get what you pay for". Stihl has introduced newer, lower cost, saws over recent years to remain competitive with box store offerings. The pro-line saws are still top notch, but some of the lower end offerings can't compare in terms of quality and performance. Its not fair to compare a 20 year old 40cc saw with one of the brand new "homeowner" ones. They were intended for different applications and price points.
  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Exactly.

    I was at the Stihl dealer yesterday with my dad looking at saws, and looking at a saw for him too. I still cannot believe the difference in weight between the MS261 and MS290. I picked up the 290 and it felt heavy as can be.

    Think my dad decided on the MS251. Said he doesn't want us to spend as much on his saw as what the MS261 costs and that the weight of the 251 is just fine for him. He also doesn't think he needs more than an 18" bar since he has been doing all of his cutting now with his 16" Craftsman. He also commented that whenever he is cutting big stuff, it is always with me and we can just use my saws.

    My dad is just waiting for April 16th to get here so we can start making some firewood. Think he is also a fan of horizontal splitting now too. Did some re-splits the other week with him in the backyard and had the splitter in the horizontal position. Then, went to do some more yesterday with him and put the splitter in the vertical position. To my astonishment, he said "What do you want to do that for. Let's do it like we did last week. No reason to be bending down or getting on your knees." I think vertical is now reserved for the really big stuff until I build a splitter with a log lift.

    My advice, let your dad pick out the saw he likes. See if you can find some people to let him use different saws so he can see what he likes. First and foremost though, figure out the budget. No sense testing out a pro level saw only to find out that it is outside of your budget.

    Oh yeah, my dad thinks I need help with my CAD as I was looking at the MS362 and MS201c yesterday. Says he is going to check me into a self help group and then in-patient rehab if the self help does not work.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    George, perhaps your dad is like me. That is, getting on a bit in years. My wife tried for several years to get me to buy a small saw just for cutting the tops if nothing else. After another back injury last fall, I caved in. In the end I did not get what I thought I would but got the little stihl 180. Wow! Talk about light! I feared it would be nothing but a toy. Not so! I've cut a 14" ash and also made a couple logs out of a larger red oak. It amazes me how this saw does.

    fwiw, I had talked to a fellow who works on Stihl saws and told him my ideas. He never batted an eye when suggesting I get that little saw. He has had one himself for many years with no problems. So, now I end up grabbing the little saw most of the time. It saves the body a bit.
  10. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    Thanks, Yea most likely gonna get the 170.. I have ran one before and they do pretty good..
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,965
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA

    You have? From people who actually own and/or use them?
  12. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    Yes Just searching the internet you will find them. Like I said I have used one and thought it was really nice.. Now I kinda take reviews with a grain of salt because some people are just idiots!!!! Know what I mean.. I appreciate the help..

    So you guys would buy the ms170 over the husky 240 ??
  13. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,012
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yep, reading the reviews on a cart I bought at Tractor Supply, you would think a team of NASA engineers was necessary to put the thing together. One guy said he was actually an engineer and it took him over 2 hours to put the cart together. With the help of my 3 year old and father in-law, which was really the opposite of help, it took me just over 30 minutes to assemble to cart and pump up the tires. Some people were actually talking about drilling holes and fabricating pieces to get the cart put together, and I can see how that would happen IF they were trying to put the wrong pieces in the wrong places. Thing is, I learned a long time ago that if you have to start doing any fabrication on these things, you really need to stop, take a break, read through the directions again, and figure out where you screwed up.

    I am sure there are plenty of people out there that have no clue how to use a chainsaw, buy an entry level MS170, and proceed to kill it. Possibly running the thing with extremely dull chains and then complaining that it has no power. The neighbor is running his saw with some dull chains on it. Granted, it is a McCulloch. I actually see him moving the saw back and forth through the log as if it is a hand saw. I was dying to walk over there with the MS261 and give him a hand, but I was watching the kids that day so not a good idea to run a saw while the kids are running around. Last night I read 20 reviews about an AR-15 lower, 19 of which were 5 stars. The only review that was not 5 stars was some guy complaining about how hard it was to build his AR with this lower. I would bet he is mechanically challenged.
    n6crv likes this.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    When it comes to the sub-$200 saw category, I would take a Stihl MS170 or MS180 over any other offering out there. When it comes to "homeowner" grade saws, the little Stihls are some of the very best.

    I would pick up an MS180 instead of the 170 if you can find one. Better power, very close on weight.
  15. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    455
    Loc:
    central NJ
    I bought a 180 with a 12" bar and very happy with it... super light, easy to handle, cuts great. I've only had it for 6 months but probably cut 5 cords with it and never a hiccup.
  16. george2c

    george2c Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SWPA
    thanks guys, gotta stick with stihl
    MasterMech and n6crv like this.

Share This Page