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Thinking about getting another saw.

Post in 'The Gear' started by Sinngetreu, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    I'm in the verge of getting a new saw and I have had my eye on a Husq 460 Rancher with a 24" bar.
    What's the word on this saw?
    One of the things I like on it is the adjustable oiler and the bolt down filter cover (it seems like the plastic clasps on the 450 could break in the winter cold). It also has two bolts on the bar and seems slightly better made. I'm I over thinking this?

    I currently have a Craftsman 32cc 16" bar that my Dad gave me, and it has worked fine, but it just isn't big enough anymore. I would like to keep the Craftsman as a limber and let the bigger saw do the heavy work.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    That saw is not going to push a 24" bar very well; max recommended is 20". What is your average cutting work and do you really need that much bar? Personally, unless you have special circumstances, I would go with the shortest bar that will handle your predominant cutting work. I would rather have a 16 or 18" bar and cut from two sides on occasion than run an oversize bar all of the time. Less weight, less cost, cheaper chains, and fewer teeth to sharpen. That said, if your wood is mostly 24" or better, I could understand the desire for more bar, but you probably want more saw to do it well.
  3. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

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    IMO a 24" bar would be a lot of bar for that saw to pull. If that's the saw you want, go with a 20" bar. If you want to run a 24" bar look at a Stihl 390 or 391. If you prefer Husky, you're getting into the XP models 60cc+ like the 562xp to run 24". There are other options too. Give us more info. What will you be using it for and what is your budget?
  4. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    Yea, I was kind of wondering about that myself.
    The saw is sold with the 24" bar at the store I was looking at it in, but it seems like 20" is the standard for non-pro saws.
    Most of the trees that I will be getting into will be no more than 28 - 32" or so (just a guess), so I think a 20" bar will do the trick fine. I'm not a pro, so I will not be downing trees that don't fall into a field or clearing.
    The power head on the 460 is what drew me to it compared to the 450.
    The budget is right around 500. That pretty much leaves out most XP models and Stihls.
    Maybe I can get the store to change out the 24" bar for a 20" or just order off of the website.
    I'm not afraid to go used, but I don't want to buy someone elses problem (a lot of people seem to beat the holy heck out of these saws).
  5. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

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    With a $500 budget, there are a lot of options. Another $50 would get you a 550xp w/ 20" bar on eBay. A 550xp will out cut the 460 and it is auto tune so no carb settings to mess with.
    CenterTree and Sealcove like this.
  6. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    It sounds like you deal with big wood there. How many cords will you be cutting a year? That kind of cutting, even if only a handful of cords a season, is still pretty serious work for any saw. I would have a hard time dropping $500 on a non-pro grade saw that is going to get worked that hard. I have seen more than a few mid-grade saws all but melt down from cutting hardwood like that (or at the very least perform poorly). In the long run a pro-grade Stihl or Husqvarna might be cheaper to operate if you are going to be doing this kind of cutting for a number of seasons. I would at least ponder if saving for a better saw would be possible or practical. Even as a non-pro user, you will still appreciate the saws superior durability and power to weight ratio.

    Also if you haven't done it already, you might consider getting some training and make sure you have good PPE. Jumping from a homeowner 32cc to a 60+cc anything is quite a step up. Just a suggestion in case you don't already possess solid saw skills.
    BKInsert likes this.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I almost bought the 460 rancher a few months ago but spent about 75 or 100 more and went for the 555 husqvarna with more hp and a magnesium case (some other options too) and I think even a tad lighter if I remember.

    I kept my 350 husky to use as a limber, but truth be told, unless I'm going through the woods with plans of limbing about 15 trees at once, that 350 is going to get put into storage mode and only fueled up if I need a saw to help get me out of something stupid I did.

    I've been very impressed with the 555.

    pen
    Clyde S. Dale likes this.
  8. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    Clyde, thanks for pointing that one out. I'm liking the way that one looks.

    I have five large Ash waiting to be cut down on a farm nearby and five more after that from another farm, so the extra performance would be great!
    The auto tune looks good if its not a gimmick feature. I like to stick to the K.I.S.S. rule, but messing with a carb can be another story.

    Sealcove, I am looking for the long run type of saw, so I appreciate your comments. The extra 50 bucks for the 550xp with a 18" or 20" bar is looking good.
    I do need to get some chaps, but I have the rest along with a healthy respect for the saw and a bit of paranoia to boot. I appreciate the reminder.

    Pen, I'll look into the 555.

    I'm really glad I said something. Lots to think about.
  9. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

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    Glad we could help you. The 555 would be an excellent option too - more cc's and hp and about the same price as the 550xp. +1 on the PPE - I never cut with out chaps and eye/ear protection. Let us know what you decide, and of course we want pics.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Lots.

    If you're going to get a mid-grade saw, get a Stihl. From a Stihl dealer. Preferably a Stihl dealer of long standing. Don't get a Husqy from Home Depot. The Stihl dealer will know what chains, premix oil, bar oil, files and everything else works best. The Home Depot sales associate will tell you what isle all that stuff is in. Also, the prices aren't all that different.
  11. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    I have not heard great things about the autotune. I do not own one but perhaps someone else can chime in.

    I would strongly suggest you look on Craigslist for a chainsaw. I have found both my saws on cragslist for steals, a 385xp for 500 and a ole 55 rancher for 120 bucks. The XP was like new, the guy was scared of it!!!. My 55 is old and beat up but it still cuts great after a new bar and chain. When it looses compression I will put a new piston and head on it.

    Not sure exactly where you are but heres a good looking stihl.

    http://rmn.craigslist.org/grd/4106094848.html
    Good luck in your search for a saw.
  12. Bocephous

    Bocephous Member

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    I'd take this advice. Or check the "Tradin' Post" section on Arboristsite.
    MDFisherman likes this.
  13. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I agree on finding a trying to find a good used saw. If you can locate one that is a good fit and in the right condition, that would be the most sensible way into a higher grade saw. Just be confident that what you find has enough life left in it. I would be wary of a commercially used saw that could easily have very high time on it even if it looks clean.
  14. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    I'm all for Stihl on a good used one. The price of a new one is what makes me think twice.

    I have been looking on CL for a while and have found a couple gems, but a lot of "earthquakes", "EXTREME whatever" and stuff. There have been a couple Stihls that would fit the power size, but they looked rough. I'll keep an eye out for someone who got over their heads and wants to dump a good saw. Those are hard to come by, but it does happen.
  15. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I like the idea of visiting your local Stihl and Husqvarna dealers. Around here, my Stihl dealer sometimes has some nice used saws available.
  16. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    That's a good point.
  17. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

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    346xp, 18" .325 with $$$ to spare. Sold a 455 rancher for this saw
    TreePointer likes this.
  18. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    UPDATE:
    I finally ordered the Husky 555 tonight. After a lot of going back and forth between the 555 and the 550xp, I decided to go for the extra HP. I cant wait to get it.
    Also, I just got my new pair of chaps in last Friday and used them over the weekend. They were surprisingly comfortable to wear and didn't feel too bulky like I thought they would. I'm glad to have them, the extra protection is nice to have when you are in the middle of nowhere.

    Thanks for the advice, it has made my cutting better because of it.
    TreePointer and pen like this.
  19. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    Please post some pics and reviews of the saw after you have used it a few times. I like that the saw has an adjustable oil pump
  20. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Well done.

    I could not be happier with my 555. My buddy with a 455 who I cut with often has commented on how he was surprised that it is so much more saw than his. My crystal ball sees him making an upgrade in the future >>

    I hope yours treats you as well as I've been treated by mine.

    I think for anyone cutting hardwoods, and more than just a couple of cord a year, this is a great saw that bridges the gap between the homeowner saws, and the XP line that is a great all around performer. Light enough to limb with yet enough power to bury a 20 inch bar and not flinch. All while being a beefier build than the 400 saws which should help with long term durability. So far, I can't complain about the autotune a bit. Saw just runs as it should each time.

    That said, the real review will be after about 5 years but so far, it's been a pleasure.

    pen
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    firefighterjake likes this.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    How does the 555 compare to your 350 Pen? Quite honestly, I may be ready to get a new saw and this was the one saw I was thinking of going with . . . or at least one of the saws.
  22. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    It eats it for lunch.

    350 has been a great saw, and cut a ton of wood for me, but there is a world of difference. The 555 is heavier, but not enough to make me complain while limbing, and certainly is of no concern when cutting up logs as it is SOOO much faster. I really didn't think it would be as big a difference as it has been.

    I told the shop owner that I planned on using the 350 for limbing and smaller stuff. To that he said "Hehe, No. You wont. I'm telling ya, it's gonna sit once you run this thing!" ....... he was right.

    Only thing I can envision using the 350 for now is a back-up saw, and if I had a full day of crawling around a hillside limbing. But even then, I'd only be doing it just to give it some exercise.

    There certainly are bigger / faster saws on the market, but for this size/category/price, I'm extremely happy I did not go with the rancher series and couldn't justify the additional 100 or 125 bucks for the 562xp.

    There are different saws for different uses, but I think this one was the perfect fit for what I do.


    pen
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    firefighterjake likes this.
  23. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    Will do! ==c
    pen likes this.
  24. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I have not had a problem starting the saw, but it was recommended by others to me to read the manual first for the procedure. I'll give you the same recommendation even though I never had any issues while others have said they did. Only difference in starting compared to other saws is that it gets a few more pumps of the primer bulb than my 350. Also, for the first few tanks of fuel I had to remember to set the choke then turn it off after refueling a warm saw to set the high idle for it to start quickly. Now that it's broken in, if I forget to do that, the saw still starts easily.

    Also, to set the autotune it recommends a large log and basically running the poo out of it for 5 minutes. I did that with a smile :cool:
  25. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    Its funny you say this because I was thinking the same thing. My Craftsman is a nice saw and I was going to use it as a limber. Guess it will have to make a good backup saw. LOL

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