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Limbing saw suggestions

Post in 'The Gear' started by fabsroman, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Unless you plan on cutting 1-handed, I don't see a benefit of a top handle. I haven't used one much, but ran one for 1/2 hour or so once and I didn't care for it...at all. Maybe that's just personal preference talking, but I'm with Jay...if you aren't in the air and need one hand to hold on to something else...I'd get a rear-handle saw.

    Don't want to derail this too much...but I'd get the 362 and maybe trade that 261 in on something smaller for a good 3-saw plan. Small saw for limbs, 362 for bucking up to 28", and 660 for the real big stuff. If you know you're going to get a 362 someday...and a small limber...I don't see a lot of need for a 261. My $.02.

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  2. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I have the MS261 and the MS660. How much bigger should I go? Figure the MS261 is close to the Husky 346xp.

    What I am looking at is a small saw that I can break out for cutting down splits when need be, limbing, cutting up small stuff, etc. Also thinking about buying a MS362 just for the hell of it and running a 20" bar on it. Might get a 36" bar for the 660. Any and all advice is appreciated. Might not agree with it at the end of the day, but it keeps my brain thinking.

    So, looking at going with the following for saws and then calling it a day for a while and moving back to guns:

    MS201 rear handle
    MS261
    MS362
    MS660

    If one should need repairs for any reason, I can still continue cutting and not miss any one of them all that much.
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Almost bought the 362 the other day. Thing is, I really like the 261. Also, if the 362 goes down for some reason, it would SUCK to have to cut with the 660 or a small limber only. Same goes for the 261 right now.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would sale a saw fire a part-timmer and go hunting for 4-weeks! lol Thats what I did and it was the best hunting season ever! ;)
    Boog and ScotO like this.
  5. I'd go for the 362 first. Might as well add in a 441 well your at it though.
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I'm far enough ahead on my wood supply that if my one and only saw goes down, I just call it a day before my luck gets any worse. I know how to read the signs ;).

    I'd still get the 362 first...just because they rule:p
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on your hunting season. Before a wife 8 years ago and three kids following that, I hunted plenty. Hunted a lot with my dad and a couple buddies back then. Not necessarily 4 weeks straight, but about 3 days a week throughout hunting season. I would typically kill 100 doves, 50 ducks, 100 geese, and 10 deer a year, not to mention crows and groundhogs and the upland hunt every once in a while. Used to shoot a ton of clays too. Used to ride 3,000+ miles a year too.

    The cost of a saw isn't the reason I cannot go hunting as much anymore. Only went about 10 times waterfowling this past season and I really do not care for the solitary hunting of deer hunting anymore. The main reasons I have not gone as much is because after 40+ years of hunting my dad has lost interest in it, and I have a soon to be 6 year old, a soon to be 4 year old, and a 3 month old that I prefer to spend my time with. Now, my daughter has asked for a pink 22 and a pink bow, so it might be time to get back into hunting as she gets interested in it. She wants to go collect her own pretty duck feathers. My son asked about getting a boat to go fishing with, so might be getting back to fishing now too.

    Selling a saw would hardly even pay for the gas required to go to the eastern shore to waterfowl hunt.

    Like hunting, shooting, fishing, and cycling, I am cutting wood more as a hobby than anything else. Just something to do when I am not busy with work, and something to get me out of the house and hanging out with my dad and brothers. I think the epitome of all this wood cutting, splitting, and stacking was the other day when my soon to be 4 year old son was outside with me helping me run the splitter for 5 minutes. Yeah, we save a few bucks on our heating bill as a result, but if I did not have any down time with work, cutting wood would be really far down the list for hobby time unless my kids were involved with it.

    I don't cut wood to make a living. Far from it. If I had an employee, he/she would be working in my office, not cutting wood, and he/she would be generating revenue through billable hours. If you are running a business right with employees, the employees should be able to run the business for you while you are on vacation most of the time. I hunted with a guy that owned a brick & block business and a cement business. He had two guys that managed them and he spent 200 days a year hunting and fishing.

    Right now, I am a solo attorney/CPA with no employees because my wife and I are focused on taking care of the kids. No daycare or other childcare providers other than she, me, and occasionally my parents. Since I already had my practice based out of my house when I first met my wife and she has to work for a big box retailer or a university in her profession, we decided that I would scale back on my clientele when we had kids and I would take care of the kids on the days she had to work. She works 4 days a week and sometimes 3 days a week. I do my work around her schedule for the most part.

    So, if money wasn't an issue, you could hunt as much as you wanted without having to sell a saw or get rid of an employee, you had space on the shelf for 4 saws, and you were loyal to Stihl, which 4 saws would you get?

    One other thing. I am probably going to let my dad keep one of the saws at his place. Had another thread going about it and essentially I am going to let him take one of the 4 home. Guessing he is going to pick the 261 or 362. With my luck though, he'll take the 201.
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  8. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    When I bought the saws in 2011, I was going to get the 261 and 440, but the 660 was only a tiny bit more than the 440 so I got it instead. Who knows, might get the 460 after the 362 and 201. Think I am going to go the 362 and 201 route.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Hey now, you will have already gone through your bad luck for the day, so might as well continue on. Now, if another saw goes down on you, you might as well call it a day. lol

    I think the biggest issue for me with calling it a day once I am out there cutting wood is the lost time getting to and from the place. If I was cutting in my backyard, then it would be different.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I will get to my point. Selling the saw really dont pay for a helper but it only take one saw to keep to helpers buzy. In turn this leaves more time for other stuff (Not that just the daily stuff is still a hobby) I went from 12 cords a year down to 4. (Got rid of the wood monster furnace) Now have 2-epa stoves. I have done this gig of 12 cords a year for 7 stright years(+ 2 other stoves I cut for). I had 290,260,362,460,880. There is no dought in my mind I can bust any tree from a tig to a 55 inch oak the fastest with just two saw. 460 and a 192t. And there is no 2 man splitter crew that has a chances to keep up. So even then I will be part of the crew stacking and splitting in just an hour or two at the most. Best four saw plan 460 and 3 guys! :eek: In other words the saw is not the bottle neck...
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    lol - Don't think you are getting my point. I want a new saw. Simple as that. Not because it will make me cut wood faster, but because I want a new toy. Just want one that is different enough in specs than what I already have that I might be able to find it to be of greater use in specific circumstances.

    Kind of like asking somebody "Which cartridge will kill a deer deader, .243, .25-06, .30-.30, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag.?" They all get the job done. Heck, just saw I left .270 Win out of the mix. I have 3, arguably 4, rifles that I can use to kill deer. Thing is, I cannot use all of them at the same time. Same goes for the 2 slug guns.

    Now, I plan on building another splitter. So, what happens if I have one saw, one dad, 2 brothers, and a brother in-law present with two splitters to do the splitting? What happens if we aren't doing the splitting on site and just loading rounds to take with us.

    Did I mention I am looking for another toy? I like messing around with machinery. Pushing paper gets a little boring over time.

    Think I can get through a year with 4 to 5 cords pretty easily with this furnace. Once we have the garage and addition up, I might need more, but the addition is a couple years down the road.
  12. ^^^
    And it's not like guns or saws are gonna get any cheaper. Personally I prefer the last generation of saws. Proven design, plenty of parts etc.

    Now I'm really trying to talk myself into keeping my 385xp and 268xp. Don't really need 6 saws.... But I'd have the 40-90 cc categories pretty well covered. Though I wouldnt mind replacing the 268 with a 372 if the right deal came along. ;)


    Oh and .243 all day.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I was running 2700 sq ft no wind blocks at all(12 cords) . I have 4 slug guns;) ....lol If your not shooting for faster cutting times then I darn sure cant wrap my head around that one, but I am getting old...
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    It is like a gun collection, art collection, tool collection, etc. I just tend to collect mechanical devices because they intrigue me and I cannot see the value of a high dollar piece of art on the wall. Yes, speed in processing wood is a factor, but not the only factor. Some days, my back isn't in the greatest of shape, so a lighter saw would be nice. When I have those days hunting I reach for the shotgun with the mercury recoil reducers in it and use 3" instead of 3 1/2" shells. Same goes for the rifles. I use the ones with less felt recoil on bad back days. Luckily, my back has not bothered me in a while (knock on wood).

    Same reasoning behind building a splitter. I want to try a horizontal splitter with a log lift and adjustable wedge. The excuse for building it is that I am too cheap to pay $6k for one and I want to learn how to build/weld it. Already been looking at engines and cylinders for it.

    Just looking for additional saws for the collection. Over the years, I think I am just going to buy one of everything in Stihl's pro line.
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  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I done it and you cant go wrong if you dont like one. I keep them perfect and have not lost a dime on one of them. (I have ownd every sthil pro but a 660) I by passed the 660 just a little bigger than I wanted for a cross cut saw. Guess I just really starting to enjoy the fact that 4 cords a year enough. It opened up a world that I have not seen since 2006.
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  16. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I really do think that 4 to 5 cords a year will be plenty for me here, and that was with the house at 75 degrees this year and sub par wood. Just trying to get 3 years ahead at this point so I never have to use the moisture meter again. Ultimately, this has been a fun and educational experience installing the furnace and chimney and processing wood correctly. My dad has burned wood as long as I can remember. Granted, I think we did almost everything possible the wrong way back then. My dad had never even heard of a cant hook. Me either, until I came to this board. Now, it is one of his favorite tools. Don't think he had ever looked at a Stihl either. After running my saws, that is all he looks at when we are at the dealer.

    Neither he nor I had ever seen a horizontal splitter with a log lift until I came to this site, much less a full blown firewood processor. Now, I am trying to learn all about hydraulics and welding so I can build a splitter. That is the next fun/educational experience for me now.
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Life is cool here....... I got a cheap idea for that one...lol
  18. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Thought of something else while putting the kids to bed tonight.

    Processing firewood is pretty much like hunting for me. Just time outdoors doing something that we used to do for survival. One of my hunting buddies this winter was trying to make an argument that another guy we hunt with, was trying to feed his family by waterfowling. Yeah, I have a hard time believing that when I do the math. Shells are $1 each, so that is at least $1 per goose if not more. Then, you are spending an entire day hunting and you are lucky if you can feed the family for a couple days from that. Only argument that can be made for subsistence hunting is big game, and I am talking whitetails or larger. Same goes for processing wood. Might be better off getting a second job or developing my business more in my case, versus processing firewood. The firewood might make slightly more sense than subsistence hunting, but not much. Just a way to break up the same old routine and have some fun outdoors.

    Trust me, people think I am crazy when I tell them I was out all day in a blind in 20 degree weather trying to kill some geese or in the top of a tree trying to shoot some deer. My in-laws drove up during deer season this year and saw some hunters 30feet or more in trees. They wanted to know if I go that high, and they were shocked when I told them that I used to do it all the time. Others think I am out of my mind for having chainsaws and firewood. Went to my brother's birthday part in October and I mentioned chainsaws. One of his friend's sons asked me, "Why do you have a chainsaw." I have known his dad for 20 years and am pretty sure he would not even know how to start a chainsaw. Then there was my wife's aunt. My in-laws mentioned to her that I rode some 30 miles one day and she turned to me and said "What would you want to do that for?" Felt like turning around and asking her what the heck she wants to knit for when she can earn enough in the time it takes her to knit one sweater to buy 20 of them, but I held my tongue.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Why stop at 4? :p
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  20. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Probably won't, but that is how addicts work. I can stop at 2 tonight. Next thing you know, there are 6 new saws coming.
  21. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    I was in complete control, my goal was to trade a hoard of old ammo at near current prices and get a bunch of "new" used saws............. I got more than everything I wanted and stopped at 17 :p ................ now I'm selling some as planned to get to the core group of keepers................... but I totally heat with wood and sell timber and firewood. And I love my top handle 191T with its recently added 16" .050 picco (versus 14" ,043).

    I hunt whenever I want, personally prefering the Swedish 6.5x55 or Encore 308 if using a rifle, or a 44 mag revolver otherwise. None of those calibers appear in the lists above, but they get the job done for me just fine every year. The same with saws, they can all do the trick, some maybe better than others. Just get what you want and don't worry what everyone else thinks, there is always going to be something newer or better. I greatly respect and appreciate all the helpful suggestions I get from the folks here on the forum, but in the end I get or do what I want and move on to other issues...................just like now, its time to get fishing!
  22. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yep, trophy striper season comes in at the end of tax season, as does turkey season. All three of those cartridges work just fine. Did not list them because I do not own any of them yet.
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    No need to stop but your just hording. lol Everyone wants that saw that complements there favorite saw. Heck I need 4 460's now that just might make me faster and on the splitter crew without even needing to re-fuel! :oops:
  24. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Now you got it Smokinj! When I go out back cutting I don't bring extra chains, files, gas, and oil................... I just bring an extra saw (or two)! ;)
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  25. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Late to the party here but I have a 180C with 12" bar and I love it.... makes limbing a pleasure.

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