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Opinions Wanted: Ryobi 20 in. 46 cc Gas Chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Jacktheknife, Dec 13, 2012.

?

Yay or Nay?

  1. Yay

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Nay

    100.0%
  1. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    I am doing some shopping for my first chainsaw and would like opinions on my leading candidate.

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...&productId=202521346&R=202521346#.UMpXA729KSN

    I have been using my brother's Poulan Pro with 16" bar and it doesn't fatigue me, but bending over to cut up logs does. I am hoping a bigger and better saw will reduce this and be a fair trade for any extra fatigue from the extra weight. I'm over 6'4", trying to find a good match.

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  2. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Is this the budget point of the saw you're looking for or the power/bar range?
    For $200 range I'd look around on ebay/c-list.
    What your getting is a full priced homeowner saw - nothing against this, they can probably be found lightly used for much less
    Thistle likes this.
  3. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, this is pretty much my price point, and I have been keeping an eye on Craigslist. I am liking this saw better than anything I've seen on there. If nothing else, I need to set a bar against which to measure other saws.
  4. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I'd question the safety tip on that saw getting in the way on pulling out of a cut
    You're trying to get a longer bar for being taller and the nose cover isn't helping you anymore than an 18" bar would
    Its actually going to make you have to stoop lower I'd think

    TSC has a mid range Husky on sale ~160 for 34cc
    Jacktheknife likes this.
  5. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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  6. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    See, this is why I am asking for opinions, I never would have noticed the safety tip until I was purchasing. Is this removable? Going to see if I can find that husky.
  7. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Jacktheknife likes this.
  8. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I'd add to check the bay the same saw is going for ~140 or less new
    Jacktheknife likes this.
  9. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Very good suggestion, checking eBay. Does anyone know if the tip protector is removable?

    edit: I found the manual, and e safety tip is easily removed.
  10. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    Maybe move the wood up rather than the saw down? I am 6ft and a 20 inch bar is still a back ache after a day,

    So working from my stack when I get down to ground level I find it easier to raise the wood.
  11. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    I am planning on building a couple sawbucks for gang cutting back at the house to help with the lower cutting, but all I was really meaning to say is that the weight of the saw isn't giving me issues, so a bigger and beefier saw should be realitively easy for me to weild.
  12. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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  13. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    I have a few friends who have those and use and abuse them.

    It depends on how much use and how long you want it to last.

    One guy I know picks them up secondhand, quick service, only has to last a couple of seasons and he is ahead of the game.

    The other guy cuts every week to feed a rapacious OWB, he should upgrade but he has a few and they do the job.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The Poulan and the Ryobi are probably fraternal twins. For $200 I'd rather see you pick up a Stihl 028AV off of Craigslist or the like.

    EDIT: I've seen a couple MS290's on CL here for a hair more than $200. No tax. ;)

    FWIW, Stihl and Husky both offer saws at that $200 price point, none with 20" bars but that brings me to my next point...

    4" of bar length is not going to make your back feel a whole lot better. I get down on one knee (that's right, propose to your firewood.... ) when I have to make big cuts down on the ground. For small limbs & what not. there really is no nice way to remove them short of a processing head on an excavator.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    What kind & size of wood are you cutting?

    I'd go Poulan of the 2 choices.

    I'm with MM, a CL saw may be a better choice
    Can you keep borrowing your brother's for a while longer
    while you wait for a deal to show up on CL ?

    If you want to run a 20" full chisel, look for around a 60cc saw.
    Can always run a skip chain on a smaller cc 20".

    Husq 455, 460, 359>>
    Stihl 290 & up , not sure their number system is strange , but you get the idea.
  16. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    I've got a great big maple in my own yard that needs to come down, some downed ash and a big and slightly twisted walnut that is already downed by the in-laws, and other than that, whatever I can scrounge. I can keep my brother's saw as long as he doesn't need it, which means unless his other saw goes into the shop.

    I am researching and shopping around now so that in late Jan/early Feb I can make an educated purchase when I have the cash. I keep hearing people mention Stihl and Husq, what is it that these saws offer that the others do not? Btw, I have ruled out the Ryobi due to lack of supporting dealers/shop in the area in case of work needing done/parts needing replaced.
  17. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    You answered your own question as to why folks reccomend stihl/husky
    All the other stuff has limited to no dealer support.
    Then again you have to consider what repairing a $200 saw is going to cost
    firefighterjake likes this.
  18. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    If its about dealer support, I am well covered with Poulan. My borther and Dad have both run Poulan saws as long as I can remember, save for the time Dad got suckered into a POS homelite. I don't recall any of them ever needing extensive repairs, and my dad cut a lot of wood. Why else should I go with the more expensive brands? I am trying to understand the fundamental difference.
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Honestly I've never seen a Poulan service shop or dealer in my life
    They used to make decent quality saws - in your dad's day. Being that Wally world sells them now - I doubt there is much support for a Wildthang that was built to be a throw away saw.
    Read the fine print in the manual - these class of saws are designed for 100hrs of use. Doubt many reach that
    They'd probably run longer, most are given up on because of carb issues or straight gassed
    That's why if you're handy I'd stay away from a full priced box store saw, get a second hand one run the snot out of it - rinse&repeat
  20. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    I live in the middle of nowhere and pretty much have to travel 45-60 miles to get somewhere. There are multiple Poulan shops in Forest City, Garner, Mason City, Mankato, and Fairmont, so I will be covered on that. I have been advised against the Wild Thing, am told the clutch assembly is extremely flawed and it is not a machine that will last.
    I will download the manuals and read about it, but tell me more about this "class." It is consumer vs professional grade that we are dealing with here? And if so, what is the actually difference between the classes, and who decided what class each saw is in?
  21. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Look at it like the triangle of life:
    Time-Quality-Cost
    If you are required to sacrifice any of them you lose on another.
    You need it now? and you need quality you're going to pay extra
    You need quality at a low price you'll have to wait for a deal
    You need it now at a fixed price you scacrifice quality

    With Stihl&husky some of what you are buying is brand name/advertising etc. Not everything they make is a really quality product, but designed to get you in the door at price point.
    Without buying a stihl,husky,echo,ryobi,dolmar,poulan in the 40cc range and running them in like conditions for extended periods of time to really see which one is better than the other it's all going to come down to reputation/marketing.
    Ryobi is owned by a company that manufacters both Rigid and Milwaukee. Three brand names with 3 price points, each having a different standard of "quality" part in its manufacture.
    So if your stacking saws next to each other in this power/bar size class
    Why is one ~$200 another 270 and another 350?
    Did they save enough building it in China and importing it or did they cheap the parts down to make a smaller margin and sell a bunch of them
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Reliability. Poulan ain't near what they once were. The smaller Husky's are actually Poulan clones (2xx saws IIRC) but dealer support is much better with orange vs yellow plastic IME. Saws like the 435/445/450/455/460 you can expect Husqvarna's usual excellent quality/performance.

    Stihl offers near unbeatable parts support for even their smallest homeowner saws and the reliability record is pretty spotless too. That's because they are sold/serviced in a way that assures you cannot receive a saw with a problem right out of the box. Dealers are supposed to start and tune every new saw sold before handing it over. That doesn't mean problems never pop up but it sure does make it rare.

    One problem (for you anyways) with Stihl however is that new OEM parts are not supposed to be sold online (making online parts sources scarce) so if you don't have a dealer local to you, it might be a pain driving in to get what you need. Your dealer may however be willing to ship parts to you via phone transaction.

    Pro-grade saws from either brand start at roughly $500 and go from there. If you're willing to go there, the Husky 346XP and Stihl MS261 kick-off the pro saw lines. Many members here own professional grade saws and will tell you they will never go back. These are the kind of machine a non-commercial firewood cutter will be hard pressed to wear out.

    IMO: The Stihl MS250 is a fantastic saw for the money (comparing new saws only, StihlHead will tell you to go get a used 026 instead ;) ) Will flat-out out-perform any of the Poulan Pro machines and is the most HP you can buy for $300. Not considered "professional grade" but there are a lot of 20 year old 025's (the ancestor to the MS250, almost an exact twin) out there still hacking up firewood for homeowners. The MS250 is still nice and light at 10lbs and pulls the 18" bar with authority.
    Jacktheknife likes this.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    There is a saying that sums that up nicely:

    You can have it repaired Correctly, Quickly, or Inexpensively, pick any two.
    TreePointer and basod like this.
  24. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    Thanks M M, this is the best argument towards spending more money that I've seen. I'm not trying to be difficult, I just have a hard time parting with money and I can't tell the difference between Cheerios and Toasted Oats
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    That's just it. Some examples there's a whole world of difference, and in many, many others, there ain't.

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