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Problems with my chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Pascale, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a Stihl MS 170 that I'm having problems with.
    The problem is most probably the one who is holding the saw. ;)

    It doesn't cut (a plastic knife would be better). When it does, it cuts inwards.
    I had it tuned last time 2 years ago, changed the blade and chain this year and it's not much better.

    The guy at the pro shop told me that I probably cut wood that has sand on it (i cut drift wood) so it ruins my chain.

    So, what is your advice about maintenance? Beside having the chain sharpened (I tried to do it on my own after my father's friend taught me but I guess I'm not that good at it), the tuning 2 years ago, change the spark, what could I do to make sure it runs well? Can I rinse the air filter in warm water or buy another one?

    Maybe my chain is too tight? How do I know if it's tight enough? I had my chain fall off the guard a couple of times so maybe I overtighthen it but if you can post a picture showing what is the appropriate chain adjustement that would be of great help.

    I don't cut a lot of wood (maybe one cord each autumn) or big trees (most of them are less than 10 inches wide) but apart from soft wood my chainsaw is having a very hard time cutting anything bigger than 3 inches...you get the picture!

    Thanks

    PS: My chain is a "low vibration, 3/8, .05"
    The guard is "double guard, 0.05, 3\8
    The guard is 14 inches

    Pascale

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  2. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Bogs down? Or running full speed but just isn't cutting/chain starting to smoke?
  3. Sean McGillicuddy

    Sean McGillicuddy Burning Hunk

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    Stupid question : is the blade on right?
    Sharp points of teeth pointing away from saw?

    I know some one had to ask.
    flyingcow and smokinj like this.
  4. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Might be time for a new chain. Check all of the teeth. I have a chain that I learned to use my grinder on. I did one whole side, then the other whole side. Because I had no clue what i was doing, I think I ruined the first side by getting the cutters too hot. Now it's almost like that side just dulls faster and before I know it, the stupid thing is cutting a curve!

    I have a 170 and I feel that it would be best suited with a good 12" bar and chain on it. Super cheap at a place like Bailey's maybe it's time for a new set.

    It's a good light saw, but I'd suggest moving up to something like a nice used MS250 if you are on a one saw plan. Seriously, the quality of the MS170 is decent, but I'd rather use my Menard's Black Friday saw unless I'm cutting some odd limbs in my yard.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You sir, sound like an excellent candidate for carbide chain.

    If it is indeed the dirty wood dulling your chain, I'd recommend a Stihl PICCO DURO chain for it. The carbide chains will tolerate the sand where a typical chain will instantly dull. Unfortunately you will have to swap out the bar if yours is the original. I'd stick to the 14", pick up a loop of PD3 chain for it and get cuttin'.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/specialty-saw-chains/pd3/

    Part #'s for your trip to the Stihl dealer:

    14" 3/8P .050 Bar - 3005 000 4809
    14" Loop PD3 Chain - 63PD3-50

    Note, you could drop to a 12" Bar and chain setup but the parts are easier to find and comonly stocked for 14". ;)
    You should be able to get that setup for roughly $50, give or take. You will NOT be able to sharpen that chain yourself but you very well may not have to for a long time.

    Of course, you could just mosey over to the new saws and check out the MS230CBE DURO. Comes with a 16" bar and a carbide chain setup right from the get-go. Not too big/heavy but a big step up from the MS170. Has a couple nice features on it that the MS170 does not as well.

    You can wash that filter like you described but while your at the dealer, ask about a couple replacements. They're dirt cheap.

    This video is kinda Chainsaw 101. The first 20 minutes are all about saw maintenance and chain adjustment specifically is at about 0:19:15.

    PapaDave likes this.
  6. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    is that the chain we determined was on the 230 my dad just got?
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Carbide is pretty obvious. You can see the carbides on the cutters. Or just try to file it. If the file loses, then it's carbide. :p
  8. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    running full speed and the chain starts to smoke. My old guard was burnt all over.
  9. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Well...yes? (I guess)
    :)

    I'll double check this weekend.
  10. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    But it IS new (or almost, about 2 hours old)
  11. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Interesting. Why is it so?
  12. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Thanks for the link, I'll look at it.
  13. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Here what is available locally:
    (year is stated when known)

    MS 250 (350$)
    MS 260 (260$)
    MS 270 (350$, 2008)
    MS 270/280 (250$, 2006)
    MS 361 ( 475$, 2009)
    021 (140$)
    026 (200$)
    226 (225$, 16 inches)
    D11AVT (70$)

    Is there a good deal here and which one should I stay clear of because they're bad or completely obsolete?
    Thanks again
  14. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    And by the way, I can't buy something too heavy, I'm a 45 y.o. lady with small muscles.
    ;)

    Could be heavier than the 170, however.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    smokinj likes this.
  16. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    That's exactly what my dad got. Has a primer bulb and a chain that cuts like garbage. Ran and started beautifully.
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    What's a D11AVT is that a Stihl? I'm wondering if that's supposed to be an 011, did that come in a top handled variety? do you have a link to that ad. I might be interested. I'm also not sure what a 226 is.

    As far as good deals, that 026 is reasonable if it's in good shape.
  18. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    1. Go to kijiji.ca
    2. select province of Quebec
    3. do a search with the following french keywords : « stihl scie a chaine » (you will come up with a lot more results than if you write "chainsaw").

    You will see all the Stihl chainsaws for sale in the province of Quebec.

    Here’s the link for the AVT :
    http://qc.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-et-vendre-outils-outils-a-main-Scie-a-chaine-Stihl-W0QQAdIdZ426162650

    Here’s the link for the 026 :
    http://qc.kijiji.ca/c-acheter-et-vendre-outils-outils-a-main-scie-a-chaine-W0QQAdIdZ428623062

    The guy says : Stihl 026 chainsaw in very good shape (wait ‘till you see the picture!) I’m selling it because I sold my house and I’m selling everything I don’t need anymore.
  19. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    It doesn't seem like it's available here in Canada. Look what is offered on the picture attached ===>

    thanks (i like the easy start!) Capture d’écran 2012-11-08 à 08.31.18.png
  20. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Gotta ask about the driftwood...saltwater or fresh? Saltwater is a big no-no for stoves.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'd look at that MS250C-BE and have 'em throw a Picco DURO chain on it for ya. Same basic saw as the 230 but another 5cc, 16" or 18" bar available.

    (Anything with C-BE after the model number will have the Easy2Start system.)
  22. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Fresh water (St-Lawrence river). Of course, some of the wood could come from where the water is salty but that’s 3 hours away from where I gather it.
  23. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    If your 170 needs a home, let me know (seriously).
  24. Pascale

    Pascale New Member

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    Doesn't seem like we're able to get that saw in Canada.
    Here's this year's lineup:

    http://en.stihl.ca/STIHL-Products/C.../Gas-chain-saws-for-property-maintenance.aspx

    Would the MS 251 C-BE be equipped with a Duro chain?

    Thanks
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

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