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New Chainsaw Advice

Post in 'The Gear' started by Tom NJ, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Tom NJ

    Tom NJ New Member

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    So, I am doing a remodel job for my in-laws and I asked them to get me a new chainsaw as payment. I didn't want anything for helping them out, but they were insisting and planning on giving me a significant amount of cash, so I suggested a chainsaw. Anyway, I really don't know much about saws. I have a 16" Eager Beaver, but need something at least 18". I use my father Homelite frequently, but I don't care for it much. So, any suggestions on what is a good 18" saw?

    Thanks,

    Tom

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  2. gandrimp

    gandrimp Member

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    261 stihl or 362 stihl and you will never need another saw unless you straight gas it.
  3. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    Ditto. With a couple extra RSC chains, case, 2-stroke oil, bar oil, chaps, helmet, gloves, titanium-toe boots, earmuffs, goggles, and a scarf that blows in the wind like WWI pilots.

    S
  4. atvdave

    atvdave Member

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    I like the Dolmar/Makita brand saw's

    50cc saw Dolmar PS-5104
    64cc saw Makita DCS6421

    Both saw's are made by Dolmar in Germany and are top quality. Goto arboristsite.com and look in the chainsaw forum. Ask a few questions.

    Good luck
    Dave
  5. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    big question: What do you plan to use it for?

    Just wondering if you want the biggest, strongest saw for bucking cord after cord or maybe a lighter, general use saw for limbing and clean up.
  6. Tom NJ

    Tom NJ New Member

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    I want it for general use and for felling and bucking. I am currently looking at the Stihl Farm Boss.
  7. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    How many cords/year bucking?
  8. Tom NJ

    Tom NJ New Member

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    At least five, maybe six.
  9. Freeheat

    Freeheat Minister of Fire

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    If someone else is footing the bill a pro saw 357xp or stihl 361 just my 2 cents
  10. Jutt77

    Jutt77 Feeling the Heat

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    I would go for a used pro saw vs a new homeowner saw like a Wood/Farm Boss. I'm blown away with the used Makita 6401 I just got for 140 bucks. I'm sure a similar spec'd, pro level Stihl or Husky would be a good choice too. My little 026 is a great little saw too, it was just overwhelmed by the 30"+ diameter cottonwoods I sometimes have to process. Also, is local dealer support important to you? That may steer your decision a bit.
  11. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Feeling the Heat

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    +1 on that... you could probably get that done with a 261... would be a little lighter but the 361/2 would be nice and you could go up to 20" bar very easily.

    I'd go with the 261 over the 290 if it came down to a horse race, though
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    880
  13. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    880 LOL Why not steer him toward a nice little all purpose saw like a 660 Jay? A C
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    660 may not handle the large ones. Never have to bend over even on top of a large log. Just point and shot with a 60inch cannon bar. Never need a pole saw either.
  15. Tom NJ

    Tom NJ New Member

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    Thanks for all the input. It looks like Stihl is the overall favorite and I think it is the make I will go with. Just not nailed down on the model yet.
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    cant go wrong for and all around saw 310,390,261,361!
  17. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Get a Husky 346XP........ if you can't, then skip the fat bottomed Farm boss and get a 261/361 Stihl.
  18. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Okay, I give up.

    I've been reading these Stihl threads for months now and comparing the specs online. The specs, pricing, and recommendations don't make sense to me, so help me understand.

    Assuming we compare 16" bars (these also take 18" or 20"), here's what I've found:

    The cheapest, the 290 Farm Boss, costs $349, weighs 13#, has a 3.8 bhp engine, and takes a 67-tooth, .325"/.063" (pitch/gauge) chain, on an 11 tooth
    sprocket (it'll also take a .375"/.050", 60-tooth on a 10-tooth sprocket);

    The 270/271 Wood Boss, costs $429, weighs 11.7#, has a smaller 3.4 bhp engine, and takes the same .325" chain as the 290 (but won't take a .375");

    The 261 costs $559, weighs 11.6#, has a 3.75 bhp engine, and takes the same chains as the 290 Farm Boss.

    So, if you compare to the baseline Farm Boss, the 261 costs $210 more, weighs 1.4# less, has a slightly less powerful engine, and takes the same chains.
    The 270/271 costs $80 more, weighs 1.3# less, has an even less powerful engine, and has less chain flexibility.

    I don't get it. Why spend spend $210 more just for 1.4# less weight? Or spend $80 more for 1.3# less weight and a 10.5% less powerful engine?
  19. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    The specs never tell the whole story of a saws power and handling....... or else people that use saws often/professionally would never buy them.

    The weight is a consideration as well as a non clam shell design.

    The 290 Farm Boss is anemic to say the least stock and is heavy.

    The bottom line is a Husky 346XP is well worth a $100 more than the Stihl 290.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 But if your just doing firewood every now and then the price point looks different.
  21. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    I agree totally Jay
  22. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    If I'm mostly using the saw to buck downed trees in a small area, I don't see that a pound of weight is a major issue (if I'm only using it an hour or two at a time, then split for an hour or two).

    Clam shell design vs. another design? Why should that be a big issue?

    How do you measure "anemic"? Seems like there should be some measure of how quickly a saw cuts through a given log. Horsepower is the only spec they show...what else can be used to compare saws?

    I'm not trying to be difficult, I just don't get it.

    P.S. Jay and HS, I was typing while you were posting. You seem to be saying that the 290 could be right for my application?
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I still say 880 or 3120 60inch cannon bar. lol
  24. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Yes the 290 could very well be right for your application.

    I reread my post and I come across as a saw snob. Nothing wrong with the stihl, husky etc. homeowner saws. I'm personally a saw enthusiast and enjoy the pro saws (I generally buy used).

    The clamshell design is just harder to rebuild than the pro designs.....but that may and should not necessarily matter if you take care of the saw.

    My only measurement of anemic is comparing saws that I have run personally. With a good sharp chain, the 290 will do just fine.

    Again, saws are a hobby of mine so my opinions are certainly different than someone that just wants to cut firewood.
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Correct me if I am wrong but after reading a lot of posts about chainsaws, the stihl 361 could be the pick of the litter, I am thinking about a new saw before I retire.

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