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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

I May Be In The Market For A New Saw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Battenkiller, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    I am getting my first load of black locust logs delivered tomorrow. I doubt my old saw (40cc Stihl 011) will make a dent in this stuff. What would be a nice saw in the <$350 range?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
  3. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    307
    Loc:
    Northeastern Massachusetts
    I don't know. If it's in good running shape and has a sharp chain, I think you could handle black locust. How big are the logs?

    I've cut some very big black locust logs with my 50.1 cc Jonsered.
  4. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    Nice saw. That'll do the trick. I'll follow it, but it will probably go for more than my budget allows.
  5. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    12-18" supposedly. Haven't seen them yet. I've actually cut and bucked locust with this saw 20 years ago, but I can't remember how it did. It's definitely got some power for a little saw.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Thought I would throw it out there PLUG! lol
  7. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    307
    Loc:
    Northeastern Massachusetts
    Why not wait and see how your saw handles in this wood? You can always go out and buy a new saw. A Stihl Farm Boss would be a nice one, ut I'm thinking that it's over your budget.
  8. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    It's real close, though. That's the one I was looking at, but I want to hear about other makes from folks who've owned or used them.
  9. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    307
    Loc:
    Northeastern Massachusetts
    If I were buying a saw today, Makita/Dolmar would be high on the list. Never used one, but most comments from owners I've read were extremely positive. Of course, the small engine repair guy who worked on my saw didn't like them, and recommended Stihl. The Farm Boss is Stihl's best selling saw, so I would think they put a lot of attention into how it's built.
  10. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,288
    Loc:
    Sunny New Mexico
    Very happy Dolmar owner here. I owned an 011 for many years. If you haven't run a more modern, high-rpm saw before, you're in for a very pleasant surprise. A Dolmar 5100 with 18" bar will be a real eye-opener, and you'll never look back.
  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    I started burning last fall & planned to just buy CSD for the first year, but was offered wood nearby including a 50' Red Oak trunk with 42" base, so I needed a saw on a similar budget.
    I found $350 kinda tight for a good saw if buying new. IMO the 290 Farmboss is the best deal for something powerful enough to make a big difference over your current saw. I'd say use what you have for now & save up. Or
    If you go used you have a lot of options:
    Stihl 280, 290, 310, 390, 361
    Husky 353, 359, 357, 365 (plus Jonsered equivalents 2153,2159...)
    Dolmar 5100, Makita/Dolmar 6400/6401
    Pro and near-pro models are more suited to buying used as repairs are easier/cheaper.

    What I ended up with was a factory reconditioned Husky 455 Rancher from Ebay. There are plenty starting around $310 shipped, no tax. Choose a real business with lots of feedaback at 99-100% & get a 90 day warranty. I bought mine 'cause I couldn't find a suitable used Stihl at that price (they hold their value very well!). The 455 is a bit heavy for the power, but has been very good for me & handled that oak just fine. The 20" bar will bog some when buried in hardwood with a non-safety chain. 18" is better IMO, but harder to find.
  12. kenskip1

    kenskip1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    160
    Loc:
    Coleman Texas
    New Saw,Sir I recently purchased a new Husky 445. This is the second new saw that I have purchased new.For what you want to spend this should fit the bill.I am not saying that this is the best set up, but with $$ being tight the 445 is ideal. JMO, but I would find a dealer and make my purchase with him. You will have dealer support if the need arises. Some people use ebay for a good deal, however I am not one of them.I have read to many stories about unsatisfied purchases. Please stay away from the Poulan line up.Get a new saw from Husky Stihl, Dolmar and you will be a happy camper, Ken
  13. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    OK, been looking at some Dolmar reviews. Seems like a real nice saw, but only 50cc? What kind of power can I expect? For example, about how long on average to cut an 18" log of something hard like hickory or locust with a freshly sharpened chain? I saw some pretty impressive vids on UTube, but didn't say what they were cutting.

    On the high RPM thing... Do all modern saws have high RPM engines? I saw that the 5100 runs at something like 14,500 RPM. How would a Stihl 290 compare? Or Jay's 361?
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    my 361 is 13500 stock and 60cc saw its going to beat the dog crap out of a 5100 no ? there.....but with that said the 5100 is a good saw jmho 50cc if its your only saw would be fine if most of your cutting is in a woods. Mine cutting is dont so bigger cc is what I like.
  15. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    307
    Loc:
    Northeastern Massachusetts
    The Dolmar 5100 has a lot more hp and higher rpms than many comparable 50 cc saws, so wouldn't this mean it would perform better?
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    yes they are a great 50cc saw, but jmho 50cc is not enough for me and with that said neither is a 60cc saw so take me with a grain of salt.
  17. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    583
    Loc:
    Allenton, Wisconsin
    Seems like an awfull lot of Stihl 028's out on craigslist and ebay for 200 bucks or so. An old Stihl 034 is my favorite firewood saw. I see them for about 250- 300 bucks.
  18. Needshave

    Needshave Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    I'm in the market for my first saw. I have a lot to clear for a house that we'll be building. Then I'll need the saw for heating with wood that I scrounge or get in log length. I was going to get a Husky 455 rancher. A local saw dealer has talked me out of it. He sells Dolmar, Efco and Jonsered. After some reaserch I found that Mikita saws are the same models as the Dolmars for a little less than he was asking. I'm thinking of going back and buying the Dolmar if he throws in some chains and oil. Models I'm considering PS-510, PS-5100 S, PS-6400.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    the 6400 would be a great choice and can be upgraded to a 79-84cc saw pretty easy down the road.
  20. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    Needshave, what size lot? How many & what size trees to clear. What size wood will you be cutting regularly for firewood after that?
    That'll determine what size saw is best.
    The dealer prob did you a favor by steering you away from the 455. Not a bad saw, but there are better for your money, including the ones you mentioned.
  21. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    307
    Loc:
    Northeastern Massachusetts
    Makita owns Dolmar, I believe, so the saws are extremely similar. Whatever you do, stay far away from Efco. I have a weed trimmer of theirs and it's always been a PITA to start or maintain. I love Italy and Italians, but I think their strengths are in areas other than mechanical engineering.
  22. Needshave

    Needshave Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    The lot is 1.4 acres. I have not measured them but I'd guess the largst diameter tree is about 36". My wife's half brother's dad lives nearby. He offered us free wood if we help him get his. I have not walked his land yet. So the future is a bit unknown. I think the PS-510 would do the job. I do like the idea of being able to upgrade the PS-6400 to more power and longer bars. I'm looking at heating with wood as a way to get in exercise as well as cheap heat. I don't think weight of the saw is a issue.
  23. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,047
    Hi -

    I find myself using the Makita 6401 most. I love the Dolmar 5100 for limbing and it will buck just fine, but the 6400 is great for bucking. Yes I am considering gettting another to fit with a 79cc jug and piston.

    ATB,
    Mike
  24. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    36" will be a bit slow with a 50cc saw IMO, but for a lotthat size & couple here & there for firewood it's totally do-able. If the land you'll be regularly cutting on is a farm woodlot then 50cc should do fine there too (usually tall, smaller diam trees).
    If you'll be cutting mostly big ole' fence-row trees you may do better with 60cc class.

    At the dealer, handle (& run if possible) as many of the relavent models as you can: 510, 5100 & 6400 as well as the J-Red 2152, 2153, 2159, 2165.
  25. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,408
    Loc:
    Hayden, ID
    If you keep an eye on Craigslist you may be able to get a sweet deal on one. I picked up these three saws for close to that price or less off craigslist:

    Stihl 036 - $250
    Stihl 056 - $100
    Stihl MS440 - $425

    All had under 25 hours of use on them.

Share This Page