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Need Opinions on right saw for the Job....

Post in 'The Gear' started by tractorboy924, Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. tractorboy924

    tractorboy924 New Member

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    OK...I can start by saying Im somewhat partial to Husqvarna. I say that as two friends have em and there are more dealers out here to service them and just about NO stihl dealers on our area for one.

    I cut about 16-20 face cord per year for firewood. Its my primary heat source. I mostly get log loads from logging companies vs going in the woods and felling my own trees. Not to say I dont here and there...but...thats NOT the norm so.

    I'm looking to get a saw that is powerful enough and properly fit for the job Im doing in the most efficient way. Im looking at a 353, 353e, or 455 rancher. I like the idea of the 20" bar as I sometimes get some BIG diameter stuff. This years load is all pretty small but have alot of hunks left from last year 24 diameter EASY......

    Is a 350 too small? what is the consesus for cutting that much wood. I was previously in a "partnership:" before this so I didnt have to cut..I was the splitter. But I KNOW my poulan 14" 25cc AINT gonna cut it!! whats my best bang for the buck w./o overkill.

    Tractorboy

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  2. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I joined the 353 club this year and went with the 18" bar. When logs get bigger, you have to maneuver on them anyway. That saw does rip through the wood nicely. I have not spent entire days ripping through log lengths however.
  3. Bammer

    Bammer Member

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    I just picked up a 455 Rancher, haven't used it yet but I like the displacement and bar length to weight ratio. I hope to crack her open tonight,I'll let ya know what I think..
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I have an old Husky 272xp with a 20" bar and am really pleased with it...also it's a smart move to buy from a dealer close by you. I cut 20+ cords a year and except for replacing air filters, bars and an occasional chain tensioner it's been problem free.
  5. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    What size is the wood you are going to be cutting?

    I'd skip the 455, and would prefer the 353 over the 350 for its magnesium crankcase (versus plastic engine cradle on the 455, 350). I would not want to run a 20" bar on any of the saws you've listed, even if I was only cutting softwood. Figure on wanting around 3cc/inch of bar.
  6. tractorboy924

    tractorboy924 New Member

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    Thanks guys...looking at the 353 as a serious contendor...was looking at 455 but picked one up today and it was sorta heavy...and that bar looks BIG....Im starting to think an 18" will be fine for whatever im doing.

    computeruser-this year everything is pretty small...no bigger than 15"...I have some 30" left from last year. Hmmm...I have to look closer at the 353..whats the Retail $ tag on that one again?? 350ish right??

    handling the rancher might just be too big...I like the anti vibration on the new ones.

    anyone got any info on the 445??

    also anyone got any experience on the e series with the tool less chain thing?? Im starting to like the idea of the nut so I can make/add a length bar...as seen at baileys site.

    tractor
  7. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    359, gets you right near 60cc for around $400. Don't forget that the spikes take away from the functional cutting length of the bar. Would run an 18" with authority or a 24" in a pinch.
  8. tractorboy924

    tractorboy924 New Member

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    firestarter...really?? 400 bucks...around here....western NY.....you cant touch a 359 under 500..... in fact..the local dealer quoted 405.00 for the 353 with 18 bar.

    I assumed Husqy was like say..apple..no matter where you got.....retail is pretty much all the same...except for say a buck here and there....Should i shop around to dealers???????

    TSC has a 359 for529.00 and the deal had the 359 for 519 I think......

    SHOULD I BE CALLING AROUND TO DEALERS??
  9. SteveT

    SteveT Feeling the Heat

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    Also consider E-bay. I took a quick look and they have an authorized dealer selling for $479. Free shipping. And no sales tax collected.
  10. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    Given the amount of wood you are cutting you might consider investing in a pro-grade saw like the 357XP. It's more money upfront, but you will be getting a higher grade saw that will tend to hold up better and last longer. It is certainly not the end of the world if that is out of your range, but it is something to consider if you can afford it. They can be found for about $600 with free shipping.
  11. N/A N/A

    N/A N/A New Member

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    What about Stihl?? I have an old Husky 162 that is a good saw. Just picked up a Stihl 361 and I must say holy crap what a difference! Husky was my first saw and thats what I learned on..did me well but it does not have anything on that 361. Check them out.
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    I got a 60cc Stihl with 18 bar out the door after tax for $417. I didn't think that was bad at all.
  13. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    The 359 can be had for in the $400 + price range. Right before I bought my MS310 from a local dealer, I was considering ordering a 359 online but Husky shutdown the online sales at the beginning of the year. TSC by me had one for $449. If you are anywhere near The Cutting Edge, they are in Greenwich, you might want to look at the Dolmar line. The PS5100 is right at $400. I cut right about what you cut per year and my MS310 is more than up to the job.

    My boss bought a 353 in Jonsered, 2152, earlier in the year and he paid under $400 with 3 chains from Norwalk. Might want to take a look at the Jonsered line of saws also.
  14. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    He mentioned that he does not have access to Stihl dealers for nearby service, so that would be a reason not to consider Stihl in his case. You really cant compare a first generation Husqvarna to a new Stihl saw. I think you will find that if you compare current comparable saws of either brand that they are both excellent.
  15. Outdoorsman

    Outdoorsman New Member

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    OK, no Stihls.

    Would suggest you check out the 5100s like aandabooks said. I just got one myself today, have not used it yet beyond cut'n a couple "cookies" but will post a comparison with my Stihl 260 as soon as I get a chance.

    Would also give Solo saws a really good look if you've a dealer for them in your area. Both the Solo 651 & 656 are good saws. The 651 is 4hp & 51cc @ 11.5lbs while the 656 is 4.4hp & 56cc @ 11.7lbs. For a 20" bar that 656 would be a very good choice as would the 357XP that Sealcove mentioned above.

    Pro grade saws are your best value over time. 1) Longer service life with few problems. 2) MUCH better weight to power ratios.

    I know the pro grade saws cost more & I started out with a Stihl MS 029 "Farm Boss" myself, but I'll not own another one. Once you cut a while with pro grade saws you'll feel the same way, they are much lighter for their power & are just plain faster in every way. You're cut'n enough wood to make the pro saw worth the xtra cost.
  16. FLASHMAN

    FLASHMAN New Member

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    I run an MS660 Stihl... Big, nasty beast of a saw. Overkill? Definitely. BUT, my cutting times are halved, and I can now spend more time splitting and stacking instead of spending all that extra time on the pile cutting. I got mine used on Ebay with a 28" Oregon Bar for $500. Awesome saw, and you can't go wrong with a Stihl.
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Honestly, you would recommend a 660 to a guy cutting 4-5 cord a year!!! WHY??!! Stepping up from a 25cc Poulan to a 91cc Stihl is just STUPID for 4-5 cord a year. The amount of time save cutting 5 cord is what? 1 hour maybe?
  18. FLASHMAN

    FLASHMAN New Member

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    First of all, it wasn't a reccommendation, I was just stating what I use. I VERY clearly stated that it was overkill, and I knew it. I do more than on ground cutting, so I wanted the bigger saw for versatility as well as time saving. My point was for the guy to not limit himself by only looking at Huskies and look at Stihls too. I didn't say, "go out and buy the biggest saw you can find." As far as how much time is saved, I don't know how much wood you cut, but I do between 14 and 16 cord a year, so I saved a LOT of time by going from 30 second cuts to 8 second cuts. I haven't done the math on that, because I have more important chit to do, but I know I end up splitting and stacking a lot quicker that way. Since this guy has the common sense to ask people on here who might know, I figured he'd also have the common sense to also look at the saws in person, and say, "wow, that's too much for my needs."

    No need to get your panties in a bunch. :)
  19. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    [/quote]Honestly, you would recommend a 660 to a guy cutting 4-5 cord a year!!! WHY??!! Stepping up from a 25cc Poulan to a 91cc Stihl is just STUPID for 4-5 cord a year. The amount of time save cutting 5 cord is what? 1 hour maybe?[/quote]

    It's not how much you cut as much as how big you generally cut or could potentially cut. If you are "sometimes" getting into big hedge row trees then for sure go bigger than you typically need. Just because it's big doesn't mean you can't cut the smaller "typical" stuff. That's precisely why I got my 046. For most of the stuff I get into it's overkill. The bigger stuff it's a necessity. Sure, I could screw around with a smaller saw but time is precious and I don't like screwing around when there's wood to cut.

    If money is no option then get two saws....if money is tight get one saw that you think will cut a big tree and use it all the time. It works good for me.
  20. tractorboy924

    tractorboy924 New Member

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    ok...I Bite down and got a Husgvarna 353 with 18" bar......again....Im hoping she will save alot of time as I want to get all 18-20 facecord cut and split to get her drying and to be DONE with it for the year........I just read the accident post....heading to get chaps before I turn that baby on!!

    but shes light for the power Im told she has..... Rancher just too heavy a saw and I really dont need a 20" bar......I can see that getting in the way with what Im doing.

    Tractor
  21. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I think you'll be happy with that saw...after awhile who knows you might consider a 20" bar...minus the spiked bumpers. I take it you got it at a dealer's since you live by 2...personally that's the smart move cause those guys can answer any question you throw at 'em. Good luck with your new saw TB
  22. N/A N/A

    N/A N/A New Member

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    Congrads on the Husky! It will be a good saw for you. Just be careful and be sure to try and have some fun! (that way its not so much like work).
  23. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    You stated it was overkill but made it sound like it would be a big benefit. So to me it sounded like a recommendation of going bigger is better, that's all. As for how much wood I cut, now just enough for myself. Back when I cut for a profit, it was A LOT and I used everything! Stihl 034, 038 Mag, 046, 076(sometimes with the 60" bar!) Husky 242, 257, 394 XP; Jonsered 920...the list goes on. So I know the difference it cutting time from saw to saw very well. And for a guy only cutting 4-5 cords like he stated, it's not going to be a huge time saver. Did I figure the math out, no I just used an educated guess at maybe an hour. And I too suggested looking at Stihls. 60cc would be very versatile with a 16-18-20" bar.

    Tractor-Congrats on your new saw hope you like it and it should suit your needs well!

    P.S. My panties are fine, I just don't want to see anyone get hurt thinking they need something they could do the same job with something more managable. :coolsmirk:
  24. FLASHMAN

    FLASHMAN New Member

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    Point taken. I certianly wouldn't want to see anyone hurt either. It does save me a lot of time though... Glad to hear your undergarments are ok... :coolsmile:
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