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Looking for a chainsaw. Ryobi chainsaw? Also, where to purchase a saw on-line?

Post in 'The Gear' started by kevinmoelk, Dec 23, 2007.

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  1. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Howdy folks. Just wondering if anyone had any feedback on the Ryobi chainsaw. I'm sure it's made by someone else, but who?

    Looking for a general all-purpose type saw. Thinking of the Husky 350. I'll be using one for years to come since it looks good that I'll be moving to Maine next spring/summer and living on 57 acres, most of which is in forest. In any case, I'd appreciate any suggestions, comments, concerns, etc.

    Any other brands I should consider besides Husky and Stihl?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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  2. ctlovell

    ctlovell New Member

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    I saw recently that 41% of chain saw owners in America owned a Husky, 40% a Stihl and 7% a Jonsered. To me that adds up to 88% of ALL saw owners. So unless you are intersted in a Jonsered the answer is no.
  3. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Husqvarna/Jonsered, Stihl, Dolmar, Echo, Emak/JD/CubCadet/Efco, Solo, and Makita are all brands worth considering. Find what sort of saw in terms of the HP/cc range that you need and then go with whichever brand(s) have a good dealer network in the places where you intend to be cutting.

    No idea where Ryobi comes from, but I'd skip it just on principle.
  4. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    what sort of dealer support do you have locally for your Ryobi saw?

    If you wanted an occaisonal use, Harry HomeOwner type saw, I would say, get a Poulan, or ryobi, craftsman or whatever was less than $150 every year ( or every other year)

    other wise, Id say, get a Stihl, Husky, or Jonsenred, depending on what deal you can find, and what your local dealer/parts structure is like.

    I have had VERY good luck with Stihl saws ( used) but my local Stihl dealerships are good with parts, and I like to tinker with stuff.

  5. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    I have had a Husky 350 for over a year now and have been very happy with it. The best part is I bought it brand new on E-bay for $200 !
  6. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Thanks guys for your replies. I'm only curious about the Ryobi... no intentions of purchasing one. Just a thought that Ryobi is most likely not the maker of the tool, that someone else is manufacturing it and Ryobi is just putting their badge on there.

    I'm pretty much settled on a Husqvarna. Really the question is which one. I'd like not to spend more than 500 dollars on the saw itself. Here's the thing though... while I plan on using it for years to come and I want it to be durable and reliable, there are almost too many choices. The differences seem so minor between some of the saws that I wonder if there would be an advantage for me choosing between say the 350 and 338XPT for example?

    I don't mind spending the money... but it's more about whether I will use it or not. I don't want to buy more saw than I need. Any suggestions?

    -Kevin
  7. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    338 XPT is a much higher quality saw. It's built better.

    Keep in mind I own a Husky 350 and I work on these for a living. The 350 is a piece of junk saw that's had so many problems Husky discontinued the line. in 2008 they're replacing the saw with the 450 to correct some major design problems, such as the mufflers falling off or loosening up (and burning up the piston) and intake leaks (which also burn up the saw). I've repaired a lot of these under warranty with major issues, as well as some other of the 300 line (excluding XPT saws).

    IMO, avoid the saw. If you purchase one or own one, see my other posts here about them. Or PM me.

    Just trying to help.
  8. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Actually Cmonstart, that's exactly the type of advice I'm looking for... practical and to the point. I'd much rather spend another $100 or $200 bucks and have fewer headaches.

    Could you please tell me what the difference is between the XP, XPT, XPW, e, and the other designations that Husky uses. I can't make heads or tails of the numbering system and letters.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    XP series saws are Husky's professional line and not consumer level. They usually are built better and have been thoroughly tested in a more demanding environment. The XPW series are full wrap saws which means the handle wraps all the way around the saw.

    What kind of primary use will the saw get?

    If you plan on doing a lot of sawing you might look into a 357XP or a 372XP both are great professional level saws.
  10. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I use both Stihl and Huskys and my go to saw right now (pound for pound) is the Stihl 361. The saw has been modded including muffler, full wrap and double dogs, HO oiler pump, etc. With a 20" bar it does a really good job. Price was good as well.
    Look around, Husky is now doing the same as Stihl with only local dealers, no more online ordering.
    Chad
  11. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    The 338XPT may be a "higher quality saw", but it's also a top-handle saw for tree climbers, hence the T appended to the XP. Apples to oranges, and that particular model is irrelevant to firewood cutters anyway.

    XP is the pro saw line (with some exceptions - 353 is a "pro saw" in all details but name, as is the 365 and the 359, once you pull its catylitic converter muffler). XPW is a wrap handle, and XPG is a heated handle/carb saw. The real difference between the pro saws and the homeowner/ranch line lies in the use of a magnesium crankcase/oil tank assembly versus a plastic tank/engine cradle. The XP-labeled saws will also have higher power-to-weight through more agressive porting and, on balance, a narrower powerband.

    The rationale for the redesign of the 3xx series into the 4xx series is not related to design flaws, but rather to EPA requirements and a desire to maintain pollution credits on the homeowner saws to keep the pro saws from getting choked down any sooner than is absolutely necessary. The issue with bolts loosening up may be a problem, but simply making sure that they were tight from the factory is plenty enough of a cure. Furthermore, I'm hard pressed to imagine how a muffler falling off (or being unrestrictive or absent) would burn a saw up. The usual problem with the muffler loosening is a bit of melting on the top of the plastic engine cradle/oil tank.

    350 is a perfectly serviceable saw and I think that it can be recommended wholeheartedly for the sort of use it is suited to. For the home firewood cutter who can get the job done with a 15/16" bar, it would be a cost-effective way to get a lot of firewood cut for a cheap price. The higher-end models (346 new edition, 353, 357xp) are also worth looking at. A 346xp(new edition), 357xp or 359 with a 16" bar will be a faster setup, of course, but they also cost more.

    Assuming that you're new to chainsaws, I would start with someithing like a 350 or 353 with a 16" bar. When you are comfortable with that saw, or when you come up against stuff that requires more saw, then make the jump to a 70-80cc machine for the big wood and keep the 50cc machine for the smaller stuff.
  12. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Info comes straight from the Husky rep 2 weeks ago.
  13. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    Trust me on this one, a two stroke engine is on the verge of melt down right out of the box. Any changes to the exhaust without changes to the intake will cause a lean condition and meltdown. The saw will scream with power for a matter of seconds before the self destruction happens. If you notice a change in power, sound or the way it idles stop immediately and check it out, or it could become very expensive.
  14. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    True, most stuff is set way too lean from the factory, but who in their right mind runs a saw the way it came right out of the box?
  15. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Heh, if everyone was in their 'right mind' I wouldn't have a job unfortunately.

    Husky and Stihl both openly recommend we pull the high end limiters and turn the needles out about a full turn to make them dependable.
  16. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Merry Christmas Everyone!!

    So in my research I found that you guys are once again correct... it boils down to 3 brands in this country: Stihl, Husky, Jonsered. I'd consider a Dolmar too, but the product support is not as good imo. So with these 3 brands in mind, I've boiled down my choices to the following saws:

    Stihl MS270 ($360-380 DOB (depending on bar), 3.4 hp, 11.9 lbs)
    Stihl MS290 ($350-370 dob, 3.8 hp, 13.0 lbs)
    Jonsered CS2152 ($360, 3.3 hp, 11.0 lbs)
    Jonsered CS2159 ($440-450 dob, 4.08 hp, 12.3 lbs)
    Husky 346XP ($407, 3.4 hp, 10.6 lbs)
    Husky 353 ($360-380 dob, 3.3 hp, 11.0 lbs)

    I figure any of these would be suitable for general farm type work, mostly clearing smaller trees and cutting rounds, etc. How much difference would 1/2 a pound or a pound make while working? What about the bumps in HP, say looking at 3.3 vs 4.0? Guess I'm leaning towards a smaller saw to start out with then maybe get a big monster like the Husky 3120 if/when I set up an alaskan chainsaw mill.

    Does the Jonsered 2152 have a magnesium case? I couldn't find any information if it does or not. How important is a compensating carb? What about heated handles? Also, how is Norwalk Power Equipment Company to work with? Seems they have the best prices on-line.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
  17. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Not a ton but if you are sawing for several hours any weight you can shave is worthwhile. That's one of the main reasons I just purchased a 346XP from Norwalk yesterday. I'm looking forward to having a smaller liming/small work saw as a backup to my 372XP.

    This will be my second saw purchase from them and my service has been excellent. When I call with questions they don't blow me off and are able to answer most of my questions with a knowledgeable response. When I bought my 372XP from them one small part was missing from the box (screw) and they shipped it out to me the same day I told them about it. I received it a couple days later. So far nothing but good things to say about NPEC.

    It should also be noted the 346's they are carrying are the new editions which are 50cc now and not 45cc. They're slightly more powerful now.
  18. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    I don't know if you'd notice a 1/2 pound, but I notice that a longer bar makes work much easier. Just going from a 16 to 18 inch bar seems to make less bending and easier on us with not so good backs.
  19. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Those are all decent saws. Personally, I would go with Stihl right now. The MS270 is our best selling saw by far.
  20. jtb51b

    jtb51b Feeling the Heat

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    l wouldn't leave Echo out as a high grade saw. I have been using a cs440 for several years and love it, here the kicker: it was brought into the shop I worked at locked up. It had been ran on straight gas. When we discovered the problem I called the customer and he said to junk it. I decided to buy a piston for it and hone the cylinder and run it for myself. I broke it loose, and I've not gotten around to putting the new piston in it just yet. If you looked in the exhaust port at the piston you would cringe, but it starts on the 3rd pull and cuts wood! I also have a stihl ms192 top handle arborist saw and several old homelite super xl's but the echo is my go to saw.

    Jason
  21. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, the 2153 (Husqvarna 353 in red-black) has a magnesium case. It actually has the same crankcase as the 346xp, but with a different piston and cylinder.

    Heated handles are your call - if you need 'em, then get 'em. The compensating carb is not really anything special, and its presence or absence would hardly sway my purchase decision (well, unless it meant a carb with a non-adjustable H jet...in which case I'd pass on it altogether).

    Of the saws listed, the new 50cc version of the 346xp seems like the way to go. Though I haven't put any time on one, those who have agree that it is a much more useable saw than the 46cc version - wider powerband, more torque - without the "detuning" that you get with the 353/2152.

    As for NPECO, it will be interesting to see how long they continue to be able to sell Husqvarna online. Bailey's had to stop on 12-21-07, and from what I read from Husqvarna (letter to dealers + stuff on the dealer-only website) the brick-and-mortar-stores-only policy should be fully implemented soon. This restriction was to prohibit online/mail order sales of anything other than the most entry-level consumer saws, trimmers, etc.; no similar restriction on parts sales for any model is forthcoming.
  22. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    HI guys,

    I find the back and forth between computeruser and comnstart quite interesting. Especially the recommendation that no one should run the saw they way it came out of the box. Really???? But most everyone does that!!!!!!!!

    I hope to be able to make some time real soon to do a search on this forum to find out if there are any posts which explain how a saw SHOULD be adjusted to run well AND last a long time.

    If you want to chime in, feel free. We could all learn a lot from experienced professionals like you!!!

    Carpniels
  23. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    I would be careful characterizing this as "back and forth" between computeruser and I because folks can get the wrong idea about that. He knows a lot about saws, probably more than I, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. We just have different opinions about some things.

    The company I work for invites everyone who purchases a saw from us to bring it back after they've run a bunch of gas through it for a quick tuning and adjustment. At that time, I usually pop the high speed mixture and richen it up until I hear the RPM decrease and just barely start to stutter. Some saws it's almost a full turn on the high speed. One of the manufacturers, Stihl or Husky (I forget which right now) says to richen it up so the RPM falls _____RPMs from peak (I forget that also right now). When I'm happy with the adjustment, I push the limiter back into place, making sure it's in the middle of it's travel range.

    Adjusting the saws like this allows them much more lubrication and cooling, which extends their life dramatically.
  24. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Good post! Thanks for the kind words, too!!

    I am reading your post to say that you guys are taching the saws, in addition to tuning by ear, right? Do you offer any particular guidance to customers on how to adjust their saws on their own, or what fuel/oil mix to use (or not use)?



    I think that a lot of the differences in opinion that arise on these sorts of issues - saw choice, saw tuning, upkeep, performance requirements - arise out of the particular person's vantage point. As a saw user, my point of view might differ from someone who is a saw fixer or a saw seller. I know that the things that matter to me differ from those that matter to the owner of my friendly local saw shop. Heck, for some time I've been meaning to get a decent "loaner"/"helper" saw for friends and family to use, and my priorities in chosing such a machine are markedly different than those I would use for a personal saw.

    The importance of the proper tuning of saws is something that many consumers and even many retailers don't fully understand. With saws choked down for EPA compliance, running lean carb settings and restrictive mufflers, making sure that your saw is tuned to its sweet spot is more important than ever. Limiter caps, tiny muffler outlets, cat mufflers, all contribute to reduced life expectancy of modern saws. Some manufacturers are better than others because of how they achieve their EPA compliance. Echo, for example, runs saws sickeningly lean to meet clean air regulations. The saws run hot, run weak, and die early. Opening their restrictive muffler up and adjusting the carb back to where it should be really perks the saw back up.

    If you look at how long some of the older saws last compared to the new ones, it is amazing just how much good a rich oil mix and a right-on or slightly rich mix can do. I picked up a Remington PL-5 earlier in the year, and though I still need to split, bust out the Dirko and re-seal the crankcase (leaky fuel tank seam...), the piston and cylinder on this clearly well-used saw are like new. Ditto with my much-used Ford Eagle II. I also picked up an Homelite XL-12 that was so carboned up on the exhaust port that I had to chisel the carbon buildup away, but the piston and cylinder were glassy smooth. On these older saws, with adjustable carbs, air filters that rapidly got dirty (reducing intake airflow and creating a rich condition), and much lower RPM than current machines, there was a lot more room for imperfect tuning.

    The reality is that they don't make saws like this anymore, and that we are stuck (for better and for worse) with higher-revving, tighter-tolerance machines. Good gas, good oil, conservative tuning, and a good ear for changes in how your saw is running can do wonders to keep a saw running for decades. If money is no object, throw a fast-refresh tachometer into the mix, but if not, using your ears and paying attention is a pretty safe bet.
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