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Is this a good deal on a used Stihl MS310...

Post in 'The Gear' started by WestVirginian, Nov 27, 2005.

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  1. WestVirginian

    WestVirginian New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Hi everyone--

    Little background: I'm expecting to get a woodstove shortly, and plan to cut my own wood. I'll probably need a few cords a year, and will be cutting in the Appalachians--don't expect the trees to be huge. I'm a newbie to chainsaws, but my father-in-law has promised to teach me how to use one safely (he worked as a lumberjack in Canada, and cuts his own wood).

    I just called on a classified ad for a used Stihl MS310. The ad reads: MS310, still under warranty, 2 bars, 20" and 16", carrying case, paperwork, runs great, looks new, $200.

    When I talked to the guy he said it's almost 2 years old (so warranty is almost over), has about 50 hours of use (he runs a firewood business, and his Husky was in the shop, so he had to buy this Stihl to use for a few weeks until his Husky was ready). I haven't seen it yet, but he says it's in great shape. Comes with the two bars and two chains, plus the other stuff.

    My three main questions are: 1) Does this seem like a good deal, assuming it's in good condition?

    2) Would this be a good chainsaw for me, given my skill level (or lack thereof ;o) and what I plan to use it for?

    3) How can I go and look at it without seeming completely ignorant? I'm not really sure what to look for, and feel like I'd just be trusting the guy when he says it's in great shape. Any specific things that I should look for when inspecting it?

    Thanks so much for any info. Ian

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,844
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It's a good saw, but it also sounds like you are a bit suspicious of the story behind saw. That may be a healty suspicion. The hours sound low for pro usage. It's pretty common that someone in the firewood business has multiple saws so you'll need to determine if he is BS'ing you or actually has a good saw that he doesn't need. If he bought it as a temporary, why did he get two bars for it? Considering it's your first saw, I'd take the father-in-law along with you or a friend that knows a bit about saws. Or just hang it up and buy a good new saw that you know from day one.
  3. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    109
    Loc:
    Altona, NY
    (1) Seems like too good of a deal. If he was waiting for his Husky to be fixed why not get another Husky? Why not keep it for a backup in case the Husky broke down again? He's taking quite a beating for a saw that's really not that old. If the saw is truely what the seller says it is, that is an excellent deal. At that price if you found that you did not like the saw you could easily sell it again.

    (2) You will get many different opinions on what size saw is adequate for felling and cutting firewood. It's a balance between having enough power and keeping the weight down. The MS310 will definetly have enough power to fell and cut firewood but you may find it tiresome after a day of cutting firewood. If you do buy the saw and find it too heavy you can always keep it for the bigger stuff and get a smaller less weight saw.

    (3) Under no circumstances would I go by myself and look at the saw. I would ask your Father in Law to go with or find someone you trust who knows about chainsaws. That way you can hear it run and see the general shape of the saw. I've seen saws on Ebay that were advetised to have low hours on them and it looked like the saw fell out the back of the truck. On a private sale you want to cover as many bases as you can.
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