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I need a saw...

Post in 'The Gear' started by Skier76, Sep 10, 2009.

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  1. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I scrounge 6 cords or so a year. I find with the 50-60CC saws I get the wood down, bucked, and out of folks yards significantly faster. The saw does it's work quick, and I'm still fresh enough to load, and the like.

    There is a fair amount of local competition, but several neighbors have called me and said "I want you to take this wood because you're quick and won't rut up the yard." Good tools keep paying you back.

    Good luck!
    Mike

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  2. peterc38

    peterc38 Feeling the Heat

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    MS 211 has gotten great reviews so far, but IMO kinda small for a scrounging/firewood saw. I'd agree w/ some other posters to look in the 50-60 cc range.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    if you really want to get the job done go with 80-90cc lol
  4. peterc38

    peterc38 Feeling the Heat

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    not to mention a TW-5 logsplitter, conveyor, dump truck, tractor, etc. :)
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 Thats is in my dreams! and a Big chipper
  6. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    I'll say, the 211 does seem pretty ideal, especially when outfitted with a 16" bar. It all depends on how much you cut, how fast ya want it done and where ya get the wood from...................
  7. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    That's the thing...I've scrounged maybe a cord...if that right now. Most of the stuff was already cut, just needed to be split.

    But who knows what I'll run into as time goes on.
  8. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    If your trying to stay on a budget, see if your local Home Depot is selling one of their 6401's (or have them take your name and call you when they do). I just picked one up for $180 (which I think is a pretty good deal for a $550 saw) and it was in a lot better shape than I expected. They send out pre-mix with the saw so you know it hasn't been straight gassed and they have a checklist they use to keep it running well. I just ordered a new bar and chain from Bailey's and it is good to go.
  9. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    This will be my second year burning. My first year I used Craftsmans that my father had. This year for my birthday my wife had her family and my family pitch in for a saw. She is a PT and one of her patients highly recommended a Stihl. She got me the Farm Boss 290 and she was able to get a pretty good deal on it too. I love it, worlds of difference compaired to the craftsman. I like to support local businesses and the shop has been very helpful. I'm sure that it has been said already, but if it hasn't. Make sure to pick up some protective wear, chaps, gloves, helmet with face shield and ear protection. Was bucking and splitting wood a couple of weeks ago, was wearing the chap but not the helmet with face shield. Ended the weekend in the ER with debrie in my eye. It's always on my head now. Best of luck choosing a saw. Either way you go, Stihl, Echo, Husky you will be a lot happier then going with a craftsman, poulan or a homelite, they are disposable saws in my mind. Granted I still have one of my fathers craftsman that I use every now and again because it is a lot lighter.
  10. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    An 041 won't hold a candle to a newer saw in both power/weight and anti-vibration, trust me. I have an 056 and while it's a powerful saw, I'd choose my 372XP over it any day of the week.
  11. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Do you guys find that Stihl dealers are flexible on price? As in, you won't pay what they list for on the websites?
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    the last saw I got 10 percent off, and there price was lower that what was on the web. Got a ms 260 list 499.00 pick it up for 430 including tax. This was in may 2009
  13. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    You might be able to get them to through in an extra chain or a case. Before you go in to my I would suggest doing some homework first. Go in talk to them about the saw that you are looking at. Tell them you are planning on buying the saw soon, maybe next week. While you are there also get an idea of how much they are selling chaps, helmet and case for. Go home and do some math and figure out a package deal for all 4. maybe add up all 4 and take 10-15% off. Go back and make an offer. Won't hurt to try and see what they say.
  14. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Some good advice. Thanks everyone!
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    If it hasn't been said before, in addition to Husky / Stihl, etc. take a look at Dolmar, which is also sometimes sold as Makita (especially the Home-Depot ex-rentals) The Dolmar 5100 is considered by many to be a really good "one saw" plan choice, light enough to be good for limbing and light cutting, powerful enough to take on some pretty hefty rounds w/o flinching... The 6400 / 7200 / 7900 series (same engine w/ different pistons and cylinders) is another excellent choice. Quality is definitely pro-class, price can often be a bit less than the comparable H/S models... However a lot depends on what you have for local dealers, the Dolmar dealer network isn't as well developed as the other brands, so it depends somewhat on where you live.

    Gooserider
  16. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Goose! It actually looks like there's a dealer near me in CT...and in VT.

    Looks like the 5100 is a few ticks under $400?
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    if you find it for under 400 thats a great deal
  18. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Skier,

    I have more saws than I can count off the top of my head and I'll tell you all three (Stihl, Husky, and Dolmar) make a great pro level saw. The best bang for your $ is Dolmar. I'm a HUGE fan of there 7900, but that might be more saw than you're looking for. The 5100 is also an excellent saw/value. There's a Dolmar dealer in NE CT (the owners name is Brad) and he'll give you an excellent deal on a Dolmar. You may not need a pro level saw, but if this is something you plan on sticking with, buy a good saw once and be done with it.

    If I were going to own only one saw, a 60cc pro level saw would probably be what I'd want. You don't have to buy new either. You can find some good deals on a used Stihl 036/360/361 and those are fantastic saws that will last you a lifetime. A 60cc pro level saw will pull up to a 25" bar, but can also be run all day with an 18" bar on it, without wearing you down. Anything less than a 60cc saw might not be enough saw to handle larger tasks, and as a scrounger and property owner, you don't know what will be needed at any given time. Once you get over 60cc, the saws tend to get bigger and possibly a little heavy to be used for limbing and smaller work. Although the 79cc Dolmar 7900 (mentioned above) is a light weight power house and I could certainly live with it as my only saw if I had to.

    If you are willing to steep up to a two saw plan (and I would suggest this if you're going to be processing wood for a long time to come), then a nice light 50cc class limbing saw and a larger 70cc+ class saw would be my first choice. The 5100 and 7900 is a tough combo to be, especially for the money. I do like the 346xp and the 260 a hair better, but the 5100 is a very close third. The 7900 is in a class by itself within the 70cc saw.

    Buying a 5100 now and then adding a 7900 later should you see the need would be a great strategy.
  19. CTburning

    CTburning New Member

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    You could also look at Jonsored which is essentially Husky. They have a trade in program for $90 towards the purchase of a 2255. It's a 55 cc saw and can run up to a 20" bar in case you find some big rounds in the future. The trade in puts it at the same price as the Stihl and Dolmar saws. I choose Jonsored because of the dealer but all three are great saws. I would get a little bigger saw and with all things in life you are going to find a need for it if you have it. Better to spend $400 on one saw that can do 95% of what you can throw at it. Buy it with a 16" bar and you always pick up a 20" in the future. Just my 2 cents
  20. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    You guys have given me a lot to think about! And I certainly appreciate that.

    I've scanned craigs for used saws and I've seen a bunch. What do you guys do when looking at used saws? Compression tests? I just worry that someone ran the saw lean it's entire life and the cylinder is slightly scored. Something that'll work great for a while, then one day, you're left holding a saw with 10psi of compression.
  21. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    If you don't know a lot about saws, just run it and see how she runs. A solid saw should obviously be a good runner. A compression test is always a good idea if you have a tester and know how to do it. You can also pull the muffler off and visually inspect the P&C;to check for score marks. Most used saws will have some slight marks, but you don't want to see anything excessive or deep. If you're looking at pro saws, both the P&C;can usually be changed quite easily if need be.
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Compression is certainly a thing to look at - as a quick and dirty test try picking the saw up by the starter handle (ignition OFF) - if the saw stays on the ground, or the handle unrolls quickly, leave it there. If the saw comes up and stays up, or goes down very slowly with definite "compression bumps" it is likely to be within tolerable range...

    I would also look at overall condition - clean / dirty? Amount of wear on the chain? Is the chain sharp? Is there a lot of slop in the links? (lots of slop in a chain w/o a lot of cutter wear suggests having been run w/o proper bar oil) Was the chain lubed with bar oil (good) or used engine oil (run away)? Is the bar badly worn, or does it have burn spots on it? Check the air filter - clean? If the rest of the saw looks like it was well cared for, the engine is probably OK, if not then the engine is more suspect. Does the owner sound like he has a clue about saws (unless it's being sold by widow or other relative) and does the "story" about why it's being sold seem to agree with the condition?

    Essentially the same sorts of things you'd look at when buying a used car or any other sort of second hand item.

    If possible start it up and try a couple of cuts with it - problems w/ starting don't necessarily disqualify a saw, but are reason to be wary...

    Note that "consumer grade" saws are generally not worth the trouble / cost of doing much more than minor repairs on, while "pro-grade" saws are usually worth moderate efforts if the price is right - they are easier to work on, and get parts for, not to mention ending up with a finished product that has real value...

    Also know what a given saw should cost new - and look for prices that are appropriate. A really "primo" saw might be worth as much as 70-80% of new, average might be 50% and some might be tempting as $5-10 project saws depending on condition and what the saw is...

    Gooserider
  23. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Wet and Goose,
    Thanks so much for the explanations! That gives me a good idea of what to look for.

    Would an MS250 be "pro" saw or is that more of a high end occational use saw?

    Maybe I should check out used saws for the heck of it. There are a few Stihl's on my local craigs right now.
  24. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    The MS250 is not a pro saw. The 260 is though. Feel free to send me a PM if you have a question about some of the local used options.
  25. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you're on a budget, I would. I can't count the number of 20+ year old Stihl saws around here that run fine. They just don't wear out.
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