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NEW CHAINSAW RECOMMENDATION

Post in 'The Gear' started by Llamaman, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. Llamaman

    Llamaman Member

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    Hi guys - looking for advice for best deal on chainsaw for new member to buck scrounged log length and possibly cut down a few dead standing but nothing too big. Have a good pile out back that I would guess will produce about 2 cords and estimate processing about 3 or 4 cords per year- I have a 10 year old Craftsman that needs some work and rather than sink 50 bucks or more into that baby I am thinkin of upgrading to a Stihl or Husky - or am open to other suggestions (Echo?).......thanks for your expertise - also what size bar should I get - 14 or 16 inch?

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  2. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    16" bar on a MS290 very popular combination for that 4 - 6 cord / yr crowd.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I recently bought a ms290 with an 18" bar for $200 used of CL. This is kind of a big heavy saw if its the only one you have.
    I use it for the bigger stuff. Use an old Mac 32cc 16" for small stuff.
  4. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    Get a Dolmar PS-510 or PS-5100, super saws for a super price
  5. Kong

    Kong New Member

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    I have an 026 and an 029 and I generally run an 18" bar on the 026 and either an 18" or 20" on the 029. I would not put a 16" bar on an 029.

    The 029 is a heavier and bulkier saw than the 026 and that alone should be enough to make the decision easy. The 026 (now the MS260) is a dream of a small saw. Mine is the Pro model which means it has a compression release and the oiler is adjustable. I never use the compression release and only learned last week that the oiler is adjustable - I've had the saw for years.

    The problem with the 260 is it is expensive, but if you buy one for the type of cutting you will be doing (which it is perfectly suited to do) it will last you a lifetime. I'm not kidding. MS260 with a 16" or 18" bar using a full chisel chain would be my recommendation.
  6. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    I would make my choice based on available service at a close, REPUTIBLE SHOP, you cant go wrong with a husky, stihl,dolmar, jonseered, shindawa, makita.... but support after the sale is valuable!!!
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    A 20" bar will take care of the majority of firewood you come across.
  8. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Dolmar is one of the best saws made & in the small saws superior to Stihl in my opinion. Parts availability & service is another story though. This is Stihl all the way. If you work on your own saw & don't mind online parts ordering, Dolmar is an easy choice, Randy
  9. Llamaman

    Llamaman Member

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    Thanks everyone - I think I will check out some of the local outdoor equipment shops (versus Lowes of HD) in search of Stihl - if anyone has suggestions for good dealer South Shore of MA would appreciate if.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    x2 but I'd go with an 18" bar (skip tooth chain)

    For a about $50 you can get 4 more CCs in a 310 or for $100 you can get 8 more CCs in a 390 (all the same size and weight).
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    :lol:
  12. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    http://www.stihlusa.com/

    Click on find a dealer
  13. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    If you have a dealer around........

    WB

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  14. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    Personally, I would go used and save a little money as I don't use a saw enough to really justify going new and I can do a little bit of minor repair work as needed. If you don't feel comfortable with maintainance and minor repairs, your local dealer is going to mean a lot more than the brand of saw you use. In that situation, you should find a dealer nearby that you feel comfortable with and let them take your individual situation and make a recommendation for you. Of course you can always get a 2nd or 3rd opinion by reading comments or reviews once things have been narrowed down. However, if you don't feel a dealer is needed and still want to buy new, check out Bailey's deal on the Makita DCS 6401 for $499.95 all in. It is a rebadged Dolmar that is 64cc/4.7 hp and used in Home Depot's rental department. You can check them out there if you want to see one up close.
  15. Kong

    Kong New Member

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    I took the time to go back and reread your original post. You certainly don't need an 029 and I'd be willing to bet that if you got one you wouldn't like it. Its not that its a bad saw, its not, its a wonderful saw. What it is not is a light saw or a svelt saw - it is neither. You said, in essence, that you didn't cut an awful lot and you didn't need a big saw; you asked if 14" or 16" would be best. So its not much sense in suggesting a saw that most folks put a 20" bar on.

    That's why I think the 026 would be a better choice. It is lighter in weight and the body of the saw is considerably more compact. The "Pro" model offers nothing worth additional money, something I tried to hint at in an early response. These saws are well sized to 16" bars and well ballanced too. That matters after a few hours use. I believe it is the highest power of the small saws, but others could tell you about that sort of comparison better than I could. I will say this though, I've had more powerful saws, in fact when I first got the 026 I thought it was a bit anemic.

    Now about size and needs and all that sort of stuff. Every tree has limbs and the very first thing you do when the tree comes down is remove them. I keep just about everything; if its as big as my wrist it gets cut to length for firewood. In our area and more importanly on our place you could cut down 90% of the trees with an 18" bar with 3 cuts. Few if any saws that would normally be found with 14" bars would be well suited to that sort of work; they could handle the limbs easily - that is what they were made for - but when they got into the bigger wood and across crotches they would be over their head. I'd always prefer a saw power-head that had a bar on the short end of the recommended range than on the long end.

    Should it be a Stihl? That's up to you of course. Its good advice to see if there is a dealer nearby and more important to find out if he has a repair facility. They do break or quit sometimes. My local guy (18 miles - next county) turns around repairs in about a week and I've never been shocked by a repair bill. He also does not bill for unfixables. He is a Stihl dealer. I could buy any one of half a dozen other brands from a number of hardware, big-box, or home-improvement stores on the way there and some of them would have a pretty good replacement policy if I bought something defective, but none of them would be interested in seeing me for anything other than a new sale 3 years down the road. That's not to say I couldn't find someone to do repairs that I didn't feel capable to do, but it wouldn't be a dealer with a ready stock of the correct replacement parts of staff knowledgable in my particular model. So those sorts of things would be on my mind.
  16. CTburning

    CTburning New Member

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    No Husky reccomendations yet. I was in a similiar situation as you earlier this year. I used my buddies 455 Rancher and the smoothness shocked me. You are not going to go wrong with any of the suggestions so far. What dealers do you have close by? I ended up with a Jonsored 2255 (which is a Husky 455 Rancher with different plastics) because they had a trade in program this fall. I went with a 55cc saw because I cut up 24-30" Red Oak trunks frequently and I wanted a 20" bar but a 18" and 50cc should be enough for 5 cords or so a year. Not many people here use an Echo chain saw.
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I had a brand new 260 pro not the saw for me I like more horse power than that saw gives you....I'd run a 290 over the the 260
    or 361 sweeet saw
  18. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    JeffRey; Thats the saw I wish I could afford. The Makita 6401(Dolmar). / This is German built with quality main bearings & Mahle piston & cylinder. There is a difference between hard chromed cylinders & the Nikasil Mahle. A friend of mine has the Dolmar 7900 & he is not going back to Stihl. I was a Sachs Dolmar dealer for about 15 years & these are some runnin saws. I've owned many Stihls & the 028WB(Wood Boss) was one of the finest small saws made. As an aside, Stihl now makes 3 levels of saws, if you buy the homeowner saws(ocasional use) you are kidding yourself if you think you have the saw that "loggers use". Stihl advertises very honestly, Randy
  19. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I too would take a 6401 over a 290 for the money any day of the week. I have a ton of saws and the Dolmar/Makita 6400/7300/7900 series are serious saws for the money. They are pro level saws, not home owner grade like the Stihl and Husky saws in their price range. In fact, the 7900 is one of my absolute favorites and I'll take it every time over my 372xp, 440, or 460. I've seen new and refurbished Makita 6401's on ebay for peanuts... Nothing made by Stihl or Husky can come close to competing for $350 or less.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    350.00 bucks less would be comparing a used ebay makita to a new sthil or husky, new vs new those margines just not that big.
    372xp 440 and 460 are all great saws and that 7900 new is not that far behind in price.
  21. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    You can buy a referb or NIB 6401 on ebay for $350 or less. You can't come close to finding a Stihl or Husky pro grade 60cc saw for that price in like condition. I paid $625 for my 7900 with a 20" bar from my local Dolmar dealer... What's a new 372xp or 460 cost from the dealer? And the 7900 will eat both and weighs the same or less.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    "I paid $625 for my 7900 with a 20" bar from my local Dolmar dealer"


    that must have been a few years ago the 7900 here new goes for 799.00 no bar. Not knocking it,but there price is creaping up to stihl and husky very fast. Just trying to keep the math simple new saw's only is what I am talking about.

    list price on 460 with 20 in bar 849.00

    list price of 7900 799.00 with no bar or chain
  23. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    I may have taken this thread in a direction that the OP didn't intend by suggesting the 6401 if he is looking for a 14 or 16 inch bar as it is obviously in a different class. There are some of the Makita branded Dolmars that are more that size that are also available through mailorder. They just don't have near the bang for the buck that the 6401 posesses. Dolmar like Husky and Stihl prohibits dealers from selling most of their chainsaws via internet but the Makita twins are readily available by mail. The Dolmar 5100, however, doesn't have a Makita blue twin that I know of.
    I placed an order for a 6401 w/ Bailey's on Monday for a coworker of mine. They are on backorder but I do not know for how long.
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    While I love my 7900, I wouldn't recommend it to the OP given his stated needs - I wanted something that would handle any log I could find on a "one-saw" plan, which the 7900 certainly will do, but it's overkill for a lot of my cutting. The 6400 is the same saw with a smaller P&C, which is probably good for reliability, but means that while the 7900 has the best power/weight ratio in the business, the 6400 is a bit of a heavyweight for a 60cc class saw...

    OTOH, a 5100 is IMHO one of the best mid-size units out there, and would probably be one of my first choices if I were looking for a midrange saw - which I would probably run with a 16" bar - I'm also a fan of running bars sized for about 3-4 cc of engine per inch of bar - in that size ratio any saw will cut really well, and over it, most saws start to run out of steam...

    Gooserider
  25. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    That was in the fall of 2008. I just checked his website and you can still buy the 7900 with a 20 B&C for $649. This is still more saw (IMO) at a WAY lower price than the Stihl /Husky equivalents, which typically sell at close to their suggested retail price. I'm not kncoking either the 460 or the 372 as I own both, but the 7900 is a slightly better saw (again, IMO) and a significantly better value.
    http://www.firstgeartrucks.com/store/home.php?cat=4


    And Goose, I agree and your point is well taken. With that said, I would still buy a referb or NIB 6401 off ebay for $350 before I bought any lesser saw for more money. It's an excellent pro level saw which is capable of handling a lot of different wood, and w/o a doubt about the best bang for the dollar.
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