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please help me with saw issue

Post in 'The Gear' started by iceman, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Springfield Ma (western mass)
    I am inexperienced with saws
    i am looking to buy one
    i was told echo stihl and husky were the best
    i will be using it to cut with my friend a grapple load (we are splitting it in half)
    what should i get?
    please help me .. i need to know the bar length ... ccs? and i would like something that has saftey stuff on it if possible
    i was told there was an echo that was 269 but don't know what model... i do not want to spend a great deal of money as i would like to get a splitter as well

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  2. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
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    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    What size wood are you looking at cutting, in terms of diameter? This will pretty much resolve the issue of what sort of saw you need. You might be able to get by with less or more saw than you need, but at least we'll have a sense of where your needs place you.

    Without knowing more about your needs, I'll mention that a 50cc saw with a 16" bar is usually a good starting point for someone who will be working with "normal" sized firewood logs - 6"-18".
  3. My_3_Girls

    My_3_Girls Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Massachusetts

    This seems like the perfect situation for renting - shoot down the the big orange box on Riverdale road, plunk down a few bucks, pick up a Makita (Dolmar), beat the heck out of it for a couple of days to cut the whole truckload, then bring it back. No maint, no storage, no problems. Next year, do it again.

    I second the rental option in this case. If you can't cut a truckload into chunks in an eight hour day, give up.
  4. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
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    Loc:
    Springfield Ma (western mass)
    lol you guyd are funny i never though about renting! good idea!
    My 3 girls: you must be close!!!! that is the closet one..besides enfield but the don't rent!
    and i was gonna buy a saw for nothing... but wait what about the freebies? in case i have to cut them where they are to get them back to my house? an should i just buy the splitter or rent one of those too?
  5. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    147
    Loc:
    Foxboro, MA
    IMHO a household that burns wood should have 1 chainsaw to cut wood and if you do any scrounging I would think it a necessity. Especially with the weather we have been getting around here you never know when the chance will pop up to score some wood or save some money by being able to saw up a tree that has come down in your yard or a nieghbors. Burning wood for heat is all about self reliance and saving money, with that said why depend on a rental shop for your primary tool. Pile up the rounds then when you have a big pile rent a splitter for the weekend, if you can find a rental shop that still rents them. The ones in my area don't anymore for liability reasons.

    Just my 2 cents (due to inflation is only worth 1.5)

    Craig
  6. Tritonman

    Tritonman New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Ohio
    I agree, maybe you might want to rent one. But, I am partial to stihls and huskys. I own three stihl 290 farm bosses. I used to work with the state(ccc) doing timberstand improvements and only used stihls. Until one day when another camp was working with us and this guy brought out their husky. Wow, that saw could cut. And, another time my buddy brought his craftsman. Boy that saw could cut. Never had a craftsman in my hands until that day. I was impressed. I thought you had to buy stihls. Then I figured it out. Having a sharp chain does not mean you have a good cutting chainsaw. Having your rakers filed and a sharp cutting tooth does. So if and when you make a decision to buy make sure you have somone experienced providing you with a well worked chain. Along with this and the size of chainsaw for your application means everything. All these saws are good saws mentioned. But, I have learned from my back that the chain has a great deal to do with it.
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    I would say figure out the approximate average diameter of the larger logs in your load, and the maximum size. With practice you can cut a log that is twice the diameter of your bar length - i.e. a 16" bar can be used to cut a 32" log, but IMHO it is better / easier to go with a bar that's at least 2/3 what your normal "large" log would be, and not have to do the meet in the middle cuts to often, as they can be a pain to make come out right. For log cutting in New England, I'd say that an 18-20" bar is a reasonable choice if you aren't sure.

    Stihl and Husky are good brands, Echo is OK, I would also consider / reccomend Dolmar - I just purchased a Dolmar 7900 and love it. Be careful to look for a "Pro-grade" saw as opposed to a consumer grade, there is a big difference in quality, and the pro-grade is worth the difference. IOW go to a saw shop, don't purchase from a "big box" store. (Although I purchased my Dolmar on-line from Amick's Superstore, they are one of the few places that still sells pro-grade saws on-line)

    Once you figure out your bar length, get a saw with an engine size that will give you at least 3cc of engine for each inch of bar length on your usual bar, 4cc per inch is better, and will give you some reserve to mount a longer bar if you need to cut up an occasional monster log.

    On the saw, the key peice of safety equipment to look for is a chain brake. You also need some additional safety equipment that you put on yourself... Start with a good helmet / face shield / ear protector combo, add a pair of chainsaw chaps, and chainsaw grade boots (probably the most expensive item) and maybe a pair of saw gloves

    I would second the earlier comment that in addition to learning how to use the saw itself, the other key skill is learning how to properly sharpen the chain - a properly sharp chain on a crappy saw will cut better than a dull chain on a great saw. Most skilled saw users will sharpen the chain after every tank of gas, so it's something that is worth learning to do yourself.

    Gooserider
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