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Time for a second saw

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

  1. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    The only saw I have is an old Jonsered 630 Super II with an 18" bar. The thing is a beast and is probably the main saw I really need for the cutting I do....and it was free.

    This past weekend I was wishing I had a 2nd saw since I got the bar pinched and needed to manually cut it free. Plus the Jonsey is a bit heavy if needing to cut at cheast height or higher(which I generally try to avoid).
    Been given the OK by the Mrs to get another saw and while I would really love to get a large saw I don't really need one...just want one, and one day will probably get it. But for now I need a lighter saw that will pull maybe a 14" or 16" bar with authority to get me out of stupid situations like this past weekend and maybe to limb trees with less fatigue. Speaking of limbing a tree...should I actually be looking at a larger saw that can handle a longer bar to cut down on bending over? Maybe I need 2 more saws? ;)

    If you were looking used what would you look for....keeping in mind I cut down my money tree ages ago!

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If I were looking for a light saw and stay 18" or under - I would seriously give the Stihl MS-260 series a good hard look. Excellent power to weight ratio and a very capable firewood saw for the light side.

    The only problem I see is that you will leave the Johnny in the truck as backup.;)
    UncleJoe and TreePointer like this.
  3. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    A lighter saw is one thing, but for cutting free a pinched bar you need only an extra bar and chain.
  4. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    Or get a 2nd saw that's an exact match. Then u only need to have 1 spare part for 2 saws.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Going from just under 14lb to just over 10 sounds good, esp if the 260 cuts as well as the 630.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That 260 is a small saw with big heart.
    jeff_t and BKInsert like this.
  7. BKInsert

    BKInsert Member

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    Not sure if this would be possible, but if you could use a narrow kerf 16" bar on this saw it would cut like butter, my Husky 141 is amazing this way, every time I use the 141 I am always surprised on how well it cuts!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am sure that the 141 is a fine saw but there are some pretty stark differences between that saw and the 260(1).
    141 - 2.6hp at 10 pounds homeowner grade
    261 - 3.75 hp at 11 pounds pro grade.

    I am quite sure there is a price difference to show for it to.:p
  9. BKInsert

    BKInsert Member

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    Yes I know all that... I was saying to put the narrow kerf bar on the MS260. I was just giving an example of the 141, which is a homeowner saw, it can surprisingly cut so well with a 16" narrow kerf, the 260 could be even more surprising...
    Jags likes this.
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I'd aim for a quality 50cc saw with 16-18" bar. Get to the dealers to feel them in your hands. If you frequently pinch bars, look for a saw with an inboard clutch so that you can unbolt the powerhead from the bar if needed.

    Used/NOS: Stihl 260, Husqvarna 346XP-NE (Jonsered 2153),

    NEW: Sthl 261, Husqvarna 550XP (Jonsered 2253), Husqvarna 545

    Thee are others that will get the job done, but those were/are tops in 50cc class. To save a few bucks buying new, I'd seriously consider that 545. If on a tighter budget, look at other 50cc saws from Stihl, Husqvarna, Dolmar/Makita.

    Some folks like the 261 so much that it has replaced their ~60cc saw.
    Fifelaker likes this.
  11. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Might not be the popular answer but....

    I would look for a used Echo CS-400.

    Now hear me out... They are usually $300 at Home Depot, and every time there is a storm they seem to fly off the shelves. I have seen some here on the local CL with a few hours on them for $150, since the person just wants it out of their garage. General consensus is that they are well built, and always seem to start. Not the best power to weight ratio, and I guess the muffler is sorta choked up.

    If you can find a 260/261, they are great saws, but you pay for them!
  12. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    At the budget end, I love my used husky 350 . Make sure the muffler bolts are sound, though. 10.6 lbs / 49.4 usually 100-175 in my area's CL
  13. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    If I was in your shoes I would look at the Husky 346xp. The bar just might change over to the Jred.
  14. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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  15. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I bought a Stihl 180c and it was $180 brand new with the 12" bar. It weights next to nothing, is very nimble and sips gas... really a pleasure to use. With the 12" bar it is excellent for limbing... effortless to swing around and you don't have to worry about hitting other branches with the tip of the bar. There was a month or so when my 036 was in the shop and all I had was the 180 and I really put it through its paces. In the 18 months I've owned it I've probably run 30+ tanks of gas through and cut a few cords of wood and it's performed flawlessly. Some may say 32cc is too small, but if you're cutting bigger stuff, you use the bigger saw....
    Backwoods Savage and Beetle-Kill like this.
  16. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I'll add in one saw to look for - a good used Husq 55 - sometimes you can get a great deal on a good used saw. Definitely pull the muffler and check piston and compression if you can - I've only found two with great top ends out of the 5 or 6 used I've bought recently. Good weight and power and very easy to work on. Tons of other choices, but I've been leaning toward the older saws in good condition lately - sold most of my newer saws (including my MS362) for the line-up I use now - mainly for the great prices you can get if you are patient and the relative ease of working on them. Cheers!
  17. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    good luck doing this if that saw has an outboard clutch!
    jeff_t and TreePointer like this.
  18. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Muncybob, I wish you would have posted in early October. I was just over the hill near Turbotville for the Warrior Run Heritage Days in early October. I would have brought a 346XP and a couple others for you to try.

    A couple chainsaw dealers in my area will have some used saws for sale from time to time. Maybe you have a dealer like this in your area. It's getting rare these days, but you might even run into a dealer who has a log behind the shop for you to test a saw.
    clemsonfor likes this.
  19. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Muncybob, you should look on C-list in your area. If you are from Muncy, look at Williamsport and State College for them. I bought 2 from the area because my sister lives up that way. I got a damn near new 441 and 261 very cheap in this area.
  20. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I have had to do this twice while doing trail work, and I have no issue removing the power head from the bar/chain on a 357XP (outboard clutch). It pretty much works the same way whether the bar is pinched or not. Even with with most of the chain pinched, there is a enough slack to be gained with loosening the tension adjuster all of the way to slip the chain around the clutch. I suppose that if you had the saw buried to the dogs you would be in a pickle.
    MDFisherman likes this.
  21. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I keep an eye on CL and hope something pops up while I have the $$ in hand. Having the cash seems to be the trick I have yet to manage though....just when saw $$ seems to be available I run into something else(like now I need my snow plow pump rebuilt). Maybe it's time to cash in the jar of quarters! I have aked my local Stihl dealer about used saws but never hear from him.

    BTW, I did remove the power head when cutting free the bar. The 1st time it pinched the saw was almost 6' off the ground...no way I'm letting it fall while getting the bar free. Would have been nice to have an extra bar though as I never head into the woods w/o at least 1 extra chain.

    TP, the way things go for me I'll probably still be looking for a saw during next year's Heritage Days!
    TreePointer likes this.
  22. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I seen several nice saws on there just last night
  23. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I just came home with one of these.
    http://toledo.craigslist.org/grd/4175648292.html

    It is almost new, runs perfectly, and just rips. Unfortunately, I picked it up for my BIL-to-be. He's gonna be spoiled with this as his first saw. If I could spend the cash, I would have one, too. The guy has three more 261s in similar condition. Long story, but he bought about 60 Stihl saws at a bank sale. I talked to the guy for about fifteen minutes on the phone yesterday, and about an hour today when I picked up the saw, and I think he is a really good guy. Not just a wheeler and dealer, he knows chainsaws.

    If you're interested, PM me. I would pick one up and ship it to you.
  24. DuckDog

    DuckDog Burning Hunk

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    I've got a Husq 365 as my main saw but just picked up a Stihl 026 Arctic as a lighter saw for limbing and for quick light and medium duty jobs. My main reason was that I wanted a smaller, lighter and more compact saw to ride in the BR-180 (snowmobile trail groomer) with me this season as you never know what will be across the trail in the middle of the night. I've run the 026 a few times and am very happy. I payed $100 for it.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Bob, I've been a one saw owner for many, many moons. However, with age and physical problems my wife had been after me for many years to get a small saw even if it could be used only for cutting the limbs. For sure it had to be a light saw. Last winter I broke down and finally got another saw and absolutely love it and was very surprised in how well it performs. It is the Stihl 180 and is super lightweight. It does have the narrow kerf which helps a lot. Somehow I now find myself almost always grabbing the small saw first even for some felling unless the tree is a bit larger. We put a 16" bar on it and it can handle that very easy but still the best part is the super light weight. It is also very easy on gas which is a plus. Also with a price tag less than $200 made it easy on the purse.

    Good luck no matter what saw you end up with.

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