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Do I need a pro saw?

Post in 'The Gear' started by K31Scout, Aug 17, 2006.

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  1. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    This will be my first year with a woodstove although I have cut 2 cord a year fo campfires. I own a 16 year old 021 Stihl that has never failed me. I live on 11 acres with mostly sugar maple in the 12"-20" range. I've got 14 cords already cut/split for this year...all with the little 021 and a few chains.

    I'll be tackleing those big maples for next year and thought I was sold on a 260 pro but after considering the 021's admirable performance I think I could save $100 and get the 270. My friends and neighbors think I'll need 10-14 cord a year so my question is, do I need a pro saw? I'm on a strick budget so $100 is a lot of money at this time.

    Just a side note...I've learned so much from this site! My chains were always dull, I was force cutting and my chains were stretching. I was grounding the chain like a happy idiot and didn't know much about re-sharpening. I'm surprised the 021 still survives!

    Bill

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That you would burn that much wood:

    1. Where are you located, Antartica?
    2. What are you burning it in an outdoor boiler?
    3. Is your real name Eric Johnson?

    To answer your question, let me ask you one. What could another saw do that you aren't doing with the 021?
  3. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I have friends that are in the business and they use the 260.

    If my 025 dies, and its starting to look like a big if (the thing runs great), I am going to buy the 260. Very nice saw.

    I kick myself for not buying it in the first place.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    In my humble opinion, the little extra you spend on a good saw ("pro" or not) is money well spent.

    Hey BB, I just passed the 30-cord mark. That's 18 left over from last year and another 12 added so far this summer. I figure I've got another 8-10 in me before the snow flies. Well, before it sticks, anyway. I've cut about 8, with another 12 gleaming in my eye.

    Oh, by the way, I just got back from setting up our booth at the Boonville Show and I noticed that one vendor is selling complete logger head protection units (hardhat, ear muffs and face screen) for about $25. That's about 10 bucks cheaper than you typically pay, and this one has a twist-adjust knob for adjusting it to fit your head.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I'm swooning at the thought of thirty cords. I knocked off in May with seven and will try to drag my worn out old butt back into the woods in September to try to get a jump on next year. Of course jamming that double wall liner up the thirty foot chimney was a little work. Now to do the other one next week.

    The big job is getting one more season out of the ole Sierra while I pinch pennies and try to figure out what insert to replace it with. I think I just did my last rebuild on it this week. I think it goes into retirement at 23. You guys have gotten me too starry eyed talking about new inserts.

    As to the "pro" saw. I still don't see the need for a new one when his 021 is still kicking it out. Of course I get everything out of the hog but the squeal.
  6. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    Bart,

    I'm in norther michigan (more like the Arctic rather than the southern pole) and I want to get by with no LP this year, so I'll be burning from late September thru mid May. I'll be using my brand spanking new Englander 13NCP for a 1344sq/ft ranch. Next door neighbor has a $1900 Lopi and he burns 10 cords(same size house) October thru April. I got a cheap stove so maybe I'll go with a better saw to compensate. :)

    Most of my cut wood now consists of all the standing dead I cut out of the property which was all on the 6-8" range. The few bigger fresh blow downs that were in the 16" range were a challange for the 021 so I do need some more hp.
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Thats incredible! . I burn full time and i will be hard pressed to burn 4 cords this year! And i burn september through may heating 1800 squares in a very cold climate. (yes get a pro saw.)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Keep us posted on the performance of the stove. I am always eyeing Englander. Almost bought one twenty years ago. They are about a hundred miles from me. Now I am looking at them as a possible replacement. Wish to heck their insert was a tad bigger, or they would put secondary burn in their wood furnace.

    Like I told a stove saleslady today. Pretty is nice but I want HEAT.
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    10-14 cords? Good grief! You heating a Good year tire store with the doors open?

    I used about 4 last year. This year I'm up to around 10 all split and stacked on pallets, and about another 1.5 laying on the ground in tree form.

    Save your money till your saw gives up! I have a Husky 136 that I cut all mine with and It's running fine. No plans to upgrade. I'm sure the pro saws run faster, but mine is probably safer since it does run slower. If your going to go buy a new saw though, I'd definitely get a pro saw with an 18" bar. But that's your money I'm spending!! I also think your should spend some money on insulation!!!
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Great point Warren. Pro saws are alot more dangerous IMO as well. Bigger engines, more torque, heavier, but they do get alot of work done fast. You shold be realy experenced chainsawing before you play with a pro saw, but cutting 14 cords a year you should be a expert!
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    We are talking about real cords here 128 cu ft? I burn 2 stoves 24/7 and in New England it too gets cold. You have to be doing something wrong burning that much wood. I burn 6 + real cords. A pro saw with 14 cords a year is probably a good idea. For the past 12 years, I am going to replace my Stihl .041 Farm boss when it quits. 10 miles of roads and over 150 lots cleared and it still won't quit. Life time consumption over 120 real cords. Are you confusing face cords to real cords? you would have to fill that Englander every 1.5 hours to burn that much. If so, then the stove is too small to handle the heating requirement
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Good thought Elk..Maybe face cords. That would account for it. Actually I just measured a stack on a pallet I just piled up. Measured dimentions in inches and translated into cubic ft...Came out to 79cuft. Most of my stacks are similar, but a couple of my oak piles did shriink a lot since first stacked when wet. Have a Cherry stack that's shrinking too.

    Still, I did about 4.5 cords last year and that included a good size pine that was mixed in. I heated about 2200 sqft pretty easily with that. But it was mild last year.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Let me throw in my .02 . Like the old saying goes " you get what you pay for" Now this is not to say that a non pro saw is junk , just more to the point like most things . #1 you spend more money on a (pro) / higher grade saw and it will last X amount of years , you spend the lesser amount of money and get by most of the time you will end up buying more of the lesser quality items with in the time the higher grade items last . #2 Ya got that average chainsaw .... runs fine , does what you like it to do .........." I " have been there so i know ! ......Now if upgrading to a new pro chainsaw style now it REALLY DOES CUT YOUR WOOD CUTTING TIME IN ALMOST HALF . I have pro grade chainsaws now and i spend less time than i did before .....cutting MORE wood than i did before. I just could not believe the difference ! ! ! My 3 first thoughts were ...... #1 Why in the he(( didnt i up grade before now . #2 Why didnt somebody tell me i was working WAY TOO HARD with the cheaper / get you by chainsaw all these years !? #3 WOW , well worth the extra money spentt . I had NO IDEA ! My #1 rule i always tell wood cutter is " if your going to cut fire wood you need at least 2 chainsaws " one for the limbing and small stuff with a lite saw you can lift and move with little effort and one larger powerful saw for the felling and bucking of the trunks . If you have a good head on your shoulders and ALWAYS keep safety in mind and keep a good respect for the chainsaw and you have actually used a chainsaw for more then just a few limbs in the yard than YES ! , You "can" run a pro chainsaw . I have 2 Husqvarna 346XP (fast-high rpm power range 45cc with power of a 55 cc saw ), 1 husqvarna 359 ( 59cc not as fast but more wider power range in rpm's ) & 1 Husqvarna 372XP (fast-high rpm power range 71cc with power of a 84 cc saw ) The 346xp are lite - fast and is my fovorite chainsaw used the most . the 359 is the mid size log / trunk cutting chainsaw . The 372XP is the big high rpm powerful chainsaw that does the large wood. With the large chainsaw you dont have to walk away from any tree saying " i wish i could have that wood but i just dont have the equipment for it " Now not trying to sell a chainsaw here but my neighbor has the Stihl MS260 pro and has run my Husqvarna 346XP and tells me the 346XP is a much better chainsaw hands down . I have run the MS260 pro and the weight is a little more than the 346Xp and dont seem to run quite as well . ( just my .02 cents ) OVERALL: the best bang for the buck chainsaws are ( from smallest to largest sizes ) Husqvarnas 346XP (my favorite #1 all around chainsaw), Husqvarnas 359 (larger trunk/felling saw ) , Husqvarnas 357XP (larger trunk/felling saw ) , Stihl MS361 (larger trunk/felling saw ), Husqvarnas 365 special (larger trunk/felling saw ), Husqvarnas 372XP (larger trunk/felling saw ), Husqvarnas 575XP (larger trunk/felling saw ), Stihl MS440 (larger trunk/felling saw ), Stihl 660 ( HUGE felling/ trunk/milling saw ) . ( note the MS260 is a "good"saw but just dont make the list. ) If you have any questions about any listed saw i can help with , just ask . Can also ask about other Husqvarna chainsaw i have most input on . The other Stihl saw i just dont mess with for lack of interest - information . Whatever chainsaws looking to be bought .... do your research . ALSO NOTE!: dont listen to "everything" a chainsaw dealer will tell you when buying , a lot of time the chainsaw dealer will tell you to buy saw X....... because he already has it in stock , doesn't want to order nonstock /another item . Sometimes the chainsaw dealers BEST saw to buy is for him and not you. GOOD LUCK ! NOW GET TO CUTTING !
  14. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Please use paragraphs!

    Does Husky chainsaws mix their own oil & gas, buck wood all by themselves, and stack it to boot?
  15. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    The cords I'm talking about are 4X8X16". Face cords? Still learning here.:)

    If the pic shows up, I call this about 11 cords.

    I considered a Husky but the one dealer around here stinks. There are several good Stihl dealers, one who will take trade ins on old saws and guns.

    Attached Files:

  16. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Nice stack of wood there.... but that translates into about 3 1/2 full cord, so that mystery solved. I would think as long as the saw is still going well, and you are getting better at the sharpening/use of the saw... I'd stick with what works.

    By the way... what stove do you have.... some of those pieces are seem pretty big around?
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Out of this whole feedback review ....... this is the best reply you can come up with ? .......... Alright , No .. Husqvarnas do not mix there own gas , buck wood nor do they stack the wood. Pacific Energy does not own Husqvarna BUT if they did ....................
  18. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    A full cord is 4'x8'x4' or 128 cuft.

    A face cord or at least your 4'x8'x1.3' is 41.6 cuft.

    Not a real problem just ensuring we are on the same page here.

    3.5 cords of wood per year is just about right for what your heating, and even on the low side for some of the folks around here.

    Need a Pro saw? Subjective at best as you can tell from reading this. Nice to have...Definitely. I can't afford to go out and buy one right now, so I'm happy I have a reliable saw to use for now.

    If your happy with your saw, then you've saved money. Take the savings from this year and buy one next year.
  19. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    Harley,

    I have an Englander 13NCP (1500sq/ft). Some of the peices are big but I can always split them durning the winter. I thought I'd leave some big for longer burn times. Might be a mistake but I'll learn. lol
  20. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    K31 scout If the big one fit and they are dry I call them the mother logs. I use them in my last load before heading to bed
    It seems atleast for me dry round 5 -7" do extend the burn time on that last load up. Like you said you can always split them later.

    Everbody wants or desires new but if your saw is delivering and you keep it oiled and sharp, Might as well continue with sucess.

    BTW nice pile. I notice also a newer member welcome aboard. Can you describe the preformance of that Englander make value judgements. Is it easy to fire draft and describe your setup. Not everbody can afford expensive stoves. Yours maybe an excellent choice for entry level cost. I think it is an afforable alternative, a much better choice then buying used junk. If you stick around on the forums, you will see exactly what I mean. Last year season clearance at Home Cheapo, (I don't like the store as you can tell),
    They sold for about $400 or was it $460. Maybe we can Wiki it to point other new comers to consider them
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And when looking at the Englanders remember that they sell the identical stoves as Englander, Summer's Heat and TimberRidge.

    Lowes carries the ones labeled Summer's Heat.
  22. K31Scout

    K31Scout Member

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    Thanks for the welcome Elk. I give my thoughts on this stove throughout the heating season. It's not installed yet because my wife and I are are "discussing" what wall to put it on. We have 2 choices in the living room that will miss trusses but even with only 2 choices it figures we would disagree! There is a 3rd choice and that is for her to go live with her sister down the road. LOL I can't do that because I'm going to rely on her to load it at 2AM.

    Anyway, now I know I don't need a pro saw. When I think of cords I'll remember that we talk BIG cords here! :bug:
  23. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    Scout, I have an 026, which I believe is the predecessor to the 260, with a 20 inch bar. I've had it 10 years, the only things I have had to do are fuel/oil, sharpen the chain and blow off the air filter. After maybe 5 years I threw a new spark plug in it, just 'cause I felt guilty. It's been bullet proof. Back then they were a lot of money, I'm thinking $400+, and I hesitated about spending that much. But every day I run the thing I'm glad I did. I hate fixing tools, rather than using them. Now I'm sure they are more, but look at it this way...how much per month would you spend for conventional (gas/oil/elec) heat? Divide that into your saw cost and figure out how quickly it pays for itself!

    If you are on a tight budget, you might think about going used with the saw. A used quality saw (pro or otherwise) is better than a poorly made new one.

    Bri
  24. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    K31 Scout,

    Are you up in the UP?? Saw that fenced in woodshed, wouldn't want the mosquitoes flying off with the wood!!

    If the saw is running good and you take good care of it, she will treat you right..My Husky was new in 1983/84. It is a 181, an 80 cc saw with 20 inch bar. she is still strong, am starting to keep my eye out for another addition. You bought a quality saw, if you treat it right, it will help heat your home.
  25. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I have a 260 pro as mentioned by a few posters earlier. It's a great saw, and I upgraded from two old, slow Homelite arborist chain saws. It my case I think the upgrade was warranted because the need to cut much larger quantities of firewood arouse and I couldn't do the kind of firewood processing I'm doing now with those old saws. I did however, get a ridiculous deal on the saw, bars, chains, etc and I would have been a fool to pass it up regardless.

    However, in your case, I think your saw is perfectly suited to your needs. New chainsaws are super expensive and there isn't any reason you shouldn't run the saw you have until it dies.
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