1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Need a new saw

Post in 'The Gear' started by mikefrommaine, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. I just sold my spare jotul firelight. Which I wasn't using since I installed my boiler. Got close to 2x what I paid for it! Going to pick up an f3 to fill the space this spring when they are cheap on craigs list. So I've got some cash to upgrade my saw.

    My tree service guy that gives me free wood just got a track loader with grapple. So the wood he is dropping off is now not all cut to length :( Some of the logs are 30" Diamater or more.

    I've got an 029 super as my primary saw. And a poulan pro for when I get it stuck or a neighbor wants to borrow a saw. The 029 has an 18" .325 bar and chain. And isn't very fast on the big stuff.

    I'd like to get something that can handle a 24" bar. My stihl is a replacement for a rancher 55 that I hated, would never start cold and was tempermental once it was warm. Would prefer to stay away from husqvarna. Otherwise brand is tbd.

    I dont plan to sell it ever, so the resale value of stihl is not a major factor. But I have been impressed with my 029s reliability. I've been considering a Makita/dolmar 6400 new. Or maybe a used 440. Wife says spend whatever it takes....

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Wow, marry that gal before she gets away!
  3. Blackcountyburner

    Blackcountyburner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Brierley Hill, England
    Hi, If I was you I would go for stilh 036,it should have enough power for 24'' bar and as a professional user saw will have all benifits of a quility product, a 044 is quite a large saw and will be tyring for logging up, anyway what ever you choose good luck and carry on.
    Regards Tim.
  4. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Marry... his wife? o_O Wood'nt that make him a polygamist? I wish I had free wood being dropped off here. I have to scrounge...

    The 29 Super is the same as an 290, but it may have the earlier opened up muffler on it so not much power to gain by a muffler mod. If the muffler has 4 holes in it under the spark screen, its the better one. If it has 2 holes, you can drill two more, richen up the carb and get about 10% more power.

    After that, a Dolkita is OK, if you have a shop/parts available. Only one Dolmar dealer here, and they want more money than most do for those saws. The 6400/7900 series are their best saws.

    The 440 would be a great saw that will run a 28 inch bar with authority. I usually use my 044 to buck larger logs and quarter up bigger rounds. A 361 is lighter and has less vibration, and will run a 25 inch bar. I usually run a 25 on my 361s, or a 20 inch if I am cutting smaller stuff like I have been lately. I got a cord and a half of fir last week that I had to cut from large 3 foot by 18 inch rounds. Noodling (cutting with the grain) is the easiest way to cut. The 361 takes a little longer, but is easier to run all day w/o getting tired. Running the 044 all day I get upper body vibration tingles and noticeable strain afterward.
  5. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    My primary saw is a 455 rancher... I've never had any issues with it, it is the least cold blooded saw I have ever had. It replaced my old but heavy as hell Husky 257. There was a Stihl MS290 in there too, but I didn't keep that turd for very long (I *hated* that saw).

    I'm thinking of picking up something in the 40cc class to limb with... the 455r is a bit much for that task, but is perfect for felling and bucking.
  6. I keep telling my wife she's my future first ex, but she's a keeper.

    The Rancher 55 I bought new ~15 years ago. Always a fight to start. It had a different carb/choke setup than the newer ones.

    I'm not sure I'd see enough of a diffence between a 6400 or 360 and my 029? Plan to keep the 029 and maybe add a 180 down the road.
  7. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    yeah, the 55R and the 455R aren't the same saw...
  8. My 029 has the four holes, so I've left it alone.

    My local cl has a guy that always has rebuilt stihl saws. He has a 310 with a new ms390 engine in it for 395.

    And theres a couple 440/044 for 400-500. I don't mind buying used but I'm not sure that's enough of a savings over new.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,060
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    If less than 25% is gonna need a 25 inch bar - go MS-361/2. If more than 25% will need the big bar - go MS-440.
    Use RS chisel chain and have a blast.
    Fifelaker and amateur cutter like this.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,801
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    There are some NEW 440s floating around on dealers' shelves. Last one I saw a couple weeks ago listed for under $800.00.
  11. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    I would consider nothing less than 70cc. Since you're not interested in a Husky, which I assume rules out Jonsered, you are left with the following:

    7900 Dolmar
    and the stihls 440, 441, 460, 461 and 660.
  12. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    A 6400 Dolmar would be a step up. They are gutsy for 64cc. But 70cc+ is technically what you're looking for, so unless you find a bang-up deal on a 6400, I'd look at the 70cc+ saws and go from there.
  13. The husky I've used was my rancher, the dealer said my problems were normal... Of course he's out of business now.
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    I was initially going to get the 261 and 440, but the 660 was only a little bit more than the 440 so I said "Why not". The 660 works real well on the big stuff and with a 25" bar on it, it has never seemed slow. Smallest I think you can go with a 25" bar is a MS362, but from what I have read it pulls the chain slow on a 25" bar on the big stuff.
  15. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Ah, with the early US/later Euro muffler, no real need to mod your 029 Super. It has the power that the saw was designed to have. I would avoid the 390 in the 310 chassis. The chassis and even the carbs are exactly the same in both, but the 390 has a lot more vibration. Also the swapped in 390 is not likely an OEM engine (they are really expensive), and non OEM engines typically only last half as long as OEM. In the end, the 390 is not going to have that much more power than your modified 029 Super. The real limiting factor in the 029 Super/290 is the lower RPM at WOT. A 360/1/2 has enough power and higher revs to notice the difference over a modified 029, and the 361/2 have far better AV.

    With the 440 you will definitely notice the difference. Night and day. A new 440 is about $900 clams, so $400 for a good used one is a good deal. You can get a 044 or 440, no difference except early 044s have a different size piston pin. Get a 440 with an OEM engine in it, not a rebuilt one or one with a BB kit or other aftermarket kit engine (half the life of OEM). Shop around and get a good one that has been taken care of. That makes all the difference. I would avoid non-stock ones as well. People commonly port them wrong and then sell them. I have seen some saws built by the infamous saw builders that have had less power than stock saws. That does not include a dual port muffler cover though, which is basically a muffler port job. A stock Canadian 460 muffler cover fits a 440 with zero modifications needed, other than retuning the carb to richen it up. That will add 10% more power to that saw, and contend with a stock 460 with less weight and far less vibration.

    They are phasing out the 440 again in the US, this time for good. So I would get one now if you want one (new or used). 361 have been hard to get here, they sell fast and there are commonly posts wanting them here on CL. 360s are all overpriced here, and about the same as used 440s. Some 362 are coming on the market here for cheap, as some people do not like them and are replacing them with 361s. 440s come up along with 441s a lot here. They also sell pretty fast, but usually not overnight.

    BTW: I have little problem running my 361s with a 25 inch bar. Buried or not. I can stall any saw I have by pushing them too hard in any wood with any bar, including the 066. That said, if you want to really scream though bigger stuff, get a bigger saw like a 440 that can run up to a 32 inch bar (I run mine mostly with a 28). If you want to use some finesse and run a lighter saw all day with a lot less effort, then get a saw like a 361 with a 25 inch bar. A 22 inch might be the perfect length bar for that saw, but they are harder to find.
    Bigg_Redd likes this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    70cc with the 24/25" bars is downright enjoyable. If want to go bigger than 28" on the bar, the 80- 90cc saws are preferrable. MS660 would be my first pick there.

    Stihl 044/046, MS440/460 and the MS441 are the obvious choices. Husky 372XP is a legend and no reliability concerns that I am aware of. 576XP is a good unit too and is real easy on the operator as well.

    FWIW: The 55 Rancher was a tough old saw and better than the 455R that replaced it IMO. Sounds like yours had fuel/carb issues and was most certainly an exception to what was generally known as a very reliable saw.
    Thistle and HittinSteel like this.
  17. Sounds like I might need to reconsider husqvarna. Or at least not ignore them.

    A used professional grade saw has me a little nervous. I don't want to be buying something that is worn out. There was a 660 like new for 700 on cl. But I guess I need to move faster as its gone already. Going to stop at some dealers this week.

    What do you think of a used makita, unknown history for 350? I could always add the big bore kit if it's not what I want power wise.
  18. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Mastermech is right on the 55. It was a very capable firewood saw. Not a pro grade, but close. Must have had fuel/carb or even tank vent issues that your dealer was not good enough to catch.

    I'd much rather buy a used pro saw than a consumer grade one. It's not to difficult to tell if they are worn out (posted a thread the other day about what to look for when buying a used saw). If the top and bottom ends check out anything else is easy to replace. Tons of good used parts on ebay for used pro saws.
    Thistle likes this.
  19. Stopped at the local dealers. The husky/ dolmar dealer only had homeowner huskys in stock. Would only come down 30-40 off list for a 576/372. The biggest dolmar they had was a 510. Little better on pricing 640 was about 640 with a 24" bar.

    Stopped at the stihl dealer. Had a 362 for 725 with a 25" bar. No 440. Could get a 441 for 900. As I was leaving he mentioned a dealer demo 660/25 for 839. Gonna get it in from another store for me to look at. Full warranty said it looks new.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,060
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    If it was/is a demo, ask to make a couple of cuts with the 660. Check the weight and see if you will be happy running that thing for a day.
  21. I know the 660 is a big jump from my o29. Dealer said he wasnt a fan of 441. Recommended the 461 instead.
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,060
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    You are getting into "big boy" world with that saw. It is a dandy, but you will know you have worked when you are done at the end of the day.
    Not sure what he would have against the 441 - darn nice saw.
  23. He felt if I wanted something bigger than the 362 that the 461 was better than a 441. He said there wasnt a big power gain for the extra weight and cost of a 441. Might as well go to the 461 which had better power to weight for the cost. But the 660 for less money is tempting.

    Also been looking on eBay at the nib 372/576 huskys. Looks like I can get one of those for 750-800.

    I usually buy used equipment and tools. I have a garage full of high end like new tools and equipment that I bought for 25-33% of what they would cost new. With chainsaws it seems people want 2/3 of new for saws that have been used hard. I see a few 372 xp in the 500 range. But by the time I buy a new bar and chain plus drive two hours I think I would be better off making an offer on something like this

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Husqvarna-3...153365906?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item337dc48f92
    Or
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Husqvar...782099232?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item2c6b7fcf20


    Actually told the husky dealer I had looked on eBay. He didnt believe the prices I was telling him. Said they had to be making it up on shipping. Told him it was free shipping. Then he said a store must be liquidating. But more than one seller is in the same range. Id like to support local dealers but not at a 20% premium.
  24. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Personal opinion only here. If you can run the demo 660 comfortably to cut the bigger stuff, buy it & don't look back. Keep the 029 as a mid range saw & grab a 180 or 192 to limb with, & cut like you wanna stay warm in the winter. A C
    Oh yea, & hang onto the wife too.::-)
    DexterDay likes this.
  25. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I wood avoid Ebay like the plague when it comes to buying chainsaws. That 660 sounds like a good deal. Far more saw than the 460/1. If you can run it without it running you; it has a lot of vibration and weight. I wood take a 440 or a 372xp over a 441. I read good reviews about the 461, but it is a rubber mount and not a spring mount saw. Seems a lot better than the 460 for AV, it has the same weight and power.

Share This Page