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I need a good chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Benchwrench, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    how do I pick which chainsaw to buy?
    I have a small cheezy 16" 32cc. "Craftsman" branded (McCulloch/ Poulan) chainsaw, but I need a "real" saw that is just a bit more powerful as I am always "massaging" the thing to cut.
    I am looking for a "all around, use all the time" type of chainsaw.

    I live in Stihl country but I'm not sure they're better than Husky's, I just want a real good professional mid-size saw that can be used most of the day for bucking and limbing.

    Anything come to mind? thanks.

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  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I have a stihl small ms 180, only 16" bar and it cuts everything no problem. I am searching to for a larger saw, and it will be a stihl. If you have a stihl dealer nearby, you'll get way better service than buying at a large box store imho. Good luck
    Benchwrench likes this.
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    lukem likes this.
  4. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    You can't go wrong with the ms260 50 something cc's saw very good power to weight ratio. Light enough to use for all day limbing and big enough power to take down 20inch plus diameter trees. If you got the cash i'd look for the tried and true proven Ms 361 . One of stihls best midsized saws , will do it all.

    If your looking at husky the 346xp cant be beat. for a 50 cc's saw. The 372xp is a tried and true workhorse.
    I'am a husky saw guy , to me they have a better vibration set-up and just flat out rev higher and faster. Just my .002 cents and to each his own
    Both great saws. Close dealer service is a plus !
    Gotta ask yourself to how much wood your gonna be cutting and how long do you really want to take to do the job bucking and limbing.
    Benchwrench likes this.
  5. f3cbboy

    f3cbboy Feeling the Heat

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    ms 250 is a great saw. 16" or 18" bar. They are light and very easy to use.
    n6crv likes this.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I agree with BogeyDave...

    Both are at 59 cc's and both Pro saws. Although its gonna cost you a little under $700 (MS362) or a little over $700 (562XP). But both saws are a good mid range saw. More than the average firewood cutter will ever need.
  7. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    If an 18" bar is enough, get a 261, 346XP or 550XP.

    If you need a 20" bar then get a 362 or 562XP.
  8. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    agreed.

    these will be lifetime investments. spend the $$$ now and never look back.
  9. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    +1
    n6crv likes this.
  10. Chuck Pearson

    Chuck Pearson Member

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    +1
    n6crv likes this.
  11. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    My first real saw was the Stihl 310, the second saw I bought is the Stihl 390 which I use most of the time.
    zap
  12. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I have the stihl ms 290 farm boss 18 inch bar it is a great saw.
  13. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure what is wrong with this, looks like a small crack but it might be worth checking out.
    http://watertown.craigslist.org/tls/3350417464.html
    zap
  14. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    You stated that you want to use it "all day." That means you want a fast cutter with good antivibration. Go with the modern pro saws that have been mentioned. Stay away from teh 250 & 290; they are not bad saws, but they don't fit your criteria.
    Thistle, DexterDay and HittinSteel like this.
  15. FireBones

    FireBones Member

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    I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. I got a new Stihl 362 and I love it......I'm a newbie it's all the saw I need
  16. Leslielou

    Leslielou New Member

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    We were just saw shopping and ended up with a Husky 562xp. Seems like it will serve us well.
    CatieG likes this.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Nothing wrong with it by my eye. That "crack" is just the edge of the starter housing meeting the main chassis case.
    n6crv and zap like this.
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Actually sounds like your having chain issues (dull chain, improperly sharpened, etc.) more so than saw issues. ;)

    More info please, your gonna get recommendations all the way from the MS261/346XP all the way up to an MS460/372XP based on that post. Are you looking to spend $500, $600, $700+? You cut 12" and under mostly or do you play in 36"+ trunks all day?

    If you're looking for "just a bit more powerful" than the Craftsman then I'd look at a Stihl MS250. Not considered a "pro grade" saw but if you cut 18" logs or less most of the time, it's a helluva lotta saw for $300 that is backed by one of the best names out there.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/homeowner-saws/ms250/

    If you're really looking to get into a professional grade saw then like I said, we need more info.
  19. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    In the smaller 35cc size I would recommend a Stihl MS 211.The MS 211 is fine stock, and is lighter and has a tad more power than the MS 210 it replaced. It is for cutting down smaller trees, up to about a foot or so in diameter, and for limbing. They will run a 14 or 16 inch picco bar just fine. If you want a larger/cheaper non-pro option that will run a 18-20 inch bar all day I would recommend the earlier model MS 310. Then do a mild muffler and carb mod, and put a rim drive on it. They are good saws, have lower vibration than the 290 or the 390, and with the light mod will have the same power as a stock 390 and more power than any of the new 291/310/391 saws (and be lighter than any of those). You can find them used for around $300.

    If you want a smaller 50cc pro saw and want to spend a lot more money, the Husky 346xp is a good saw, but it has an outboard clutch. The Stihl MS 260 or 261 are good saws as well. But for that kind of money IMO you are better off buying a used 60cc pro Stihl MS 361 or a new MS 362, or a Husky 562xp. These are all great saws, and will run all day and all night and all the next day, etc. I like my 361s the best of all the saws I have owned. It is a great all around saw and I run 20 and 25 inch bars on them. You can cut anything with these saws, and they will last a lifetime if you take care of them.
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Never had gas in it? What kind of place did he buy that from?? My Stihl dealer runs EVERY saw he sells to make sure it's right before it walks out the door.
  21. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Stopped in our local shop(looked at a 391) this morning, you're correct it's not a crack.

    zap
  22. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I did notice running the same chains and bar (I just swapped them) from my MS290 to my MS460 that I can run the 460 for a while longer on a dulling chain. Faster chain speed and it's hard to bog it down.

    OP... between the Stihl or Husky... it's gonna be Chev vs Ford. 6 of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other :cool:
  23. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I didn't see what size tree you're planning to be cutting.

    That will determine bar size and bar size will determine engine size. Then you can choose pro or midrange based on what you want to pay and the volume you want to cut.

    I was clearing pasture with a guy with a Husky 562xp. I offered to let him try out my 290 with a chisel chain on it. He was leery at first being a Husky guy, but I told him I wouldn't tell anybody he touched a Stihl. He was impressed, not because the 290 was a better saw, but because the setup of 16" bar and chisel chain was right for the size engine and wood we were cutting.

    I also have a 20" bar and only have a green chain for that. I don't use the 20" much.

    I'd pick the best dealer around you to purchase from. If you're in a pickle I wouldn't want to have to deal with the box stores. A trip to the pellet board will tell you how much dealers like dealing with box store merchendise.

    Matt
  24. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys, we just got back from traveling over this weekend checking out the tree colors this time the season has to offer so I haven't had a chance yet to really read and "soak in" what all you guys have offered/ mentioned above.
    I also understand that a person can't just ask "what saw do I buy?" and have just one saw will fill the needs of all tree cutting senarios.
    That being said I can share this: I have access to a Stihl 026 and 029 from my neighbor. This gives me an idea what Stihl has to offer.
    The reason why I said I have to "Massage" the thing to cut is because I think it's a "wanna be" saw. It's got half the CC's (32) needed AND has one of those "anti-kick back" low profile chains on it.I've dubbed it a "womans saw" as it's got no "cojones". Now for limbing, it's great. It's just not a professional saw by any means.
    I am cutting hardwoods such as elm, black walnut, ash, and anything else I can burn.
    My neighbor is very kind and willing to allow me to fell and buck our trees using his 24" beastly saw or anything else for that matter.
    I am going to keep this little Sears jobber for those times when you need a small second saw, especially when experiencing a "Homer DOH" moment and get a saw stuck by incorrect bucking. it just has no "oomph" and is a terrible design. It leaks both bar oil and gas, I hate having to prime the thing every time I set it down for 5 minutes as it draws air in the gas line. It starves of fuel if it get's lower than a 1/3 tank. It just has issues and it really hasn't been used much or abused. Since I bought it 5 years ago, my needs have changed, and since I have committed to heating our home with wood,I'm looking into a serious purchase so thanks for all of the above thoughts.
  25. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    How much are you willing to lighten your wallet?

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