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Which Chainsaw Would You Pick

Post in 'The Gear' started by isipwater, Mar 19, 2014.

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  1. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Which saw would you buy?

    I will be using my future saw to buck 5 cords of delivered logs to my house, that includes mostly soft but some hardwood. Expected diameter of logs will be will be 24" or less.

    After doing lots of research, here is a spreadsheet of all the chainsaws that I am considering.

    "pts" stands for points. According to my rating system, the saws getting the most points should be the best deal for me, and are listed at the top.

    Based on the saws below and what I need one for, which one would you buy?

    saw.png
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  2. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I would get a new or used 036/360/361/362 w 20" bar.
    hrhunter likes this.
  3. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    I would get the first saw listed (550xp) rather than the third (550xp) since they are identical but the first one costs $206 less. Seriously the 550 sounds like a good saw depending on what you actually have to pay. Is dividing out cc with hp fair? Saw guys chime in, better to have the extra CC for grunt vs max HP? IDK I'm asking.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The six hundred dollar 550XP just has to be a better saw than the four hundred buck one. Ya get what ya pay for, eh?
  5. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I think it's a false choice. You should be asking how many can I get!
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    24 inch hardwood is no chump. If you can afford log loads than buy a good saw. But any pro saws fine and the more cc's all the better. Don't let anyone fool you that cc's is the most important + pro saw.
  7. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Money no object I'd have 60cc / 16 inch bar and a 20/25 bar for the biggees
    MS362 CM

    If I could have 2 saws I'd want a 50cc /16 inch bar and 70 cc /25 inch
    TreePointer and smokinj like this.
  8. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

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    Anything in blue in the quality column on your spreadsheet there. I don't see a downside to any for your needs. Stihl 36 - is that supposed to be an 036? If so, that's a pro model and should be blue for quality IMO.
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Solid as it gets right there for firewood!
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Ah, the classic 50/70cc firewood combo. Ecxellent choice!
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    If you really do get wood over 16" on a regular basis, this decision is simple and needs no charts. Get a good ~60cc saw with a 20" bar and don't look back.

    The alternative is to get two saws. Bug a good 50cc/16" saw now, and add the 70cc+ saw when a good deal comes by.
    bassJAM, billb3 and smokinj like this.
  12. ironworker

    ironworker Member

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    For that much cutting I'd keep it simple and get the best saw, 60cc or better that I could afford.
  13. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I would get the stihl 362 brand new, but what is your budget?
  14. Rich2343

    Rich2343 New Member

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    I would purchase a Stihl. Tough to beat German engineering. I enjoy my 460 with a 18" bar she screams.
  15. Osagebndr

    Osagebndr Feeling the Heat

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    I'd go Stihl . Bought a new 271 this year with 20" bar and she screams through everything i put in front of it . Mostly hard woods
  16. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    I like echo saws. That is all I use. I'm biased. Beyond that, I am very apprehensive to buy a refurbished or used 2 cycle engine machine. They can be very easily overheat if not run on the proper fuel oil mixture.
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't be too concerned about a used saw from a reputable dealer or one of the reputable guys at AS.
  18. _CY_

    _CY_ Burning Hunk

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    good grief .. you are over thinking this ... tells us your budget and if it's gotta be new?
    COTWO, muncybob and TreePointer like this.
  19. Osagebndr

    Osagebndr Feeling the Heat

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    I got a echo cs4400 for back up good saw too. Can't go wrong with them either.
  20. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    First, delete everything in the "home" category.

    Second: It seems like you already have a rating system, so I see six saws in the 17 - 19pts range. I just don't think you can wrong with the husky or Stihl pro models (unless you buy a lemon of a used saw).

    Buy the one in that range that is either the cheapest (if budget is a concern) or the most powerful (assuming you can afford every saw on that list).

    My $0.02

    PS - I like how you think in rating these saws, neat idea.
    isipwater likes this.
  21. bassJAM

    bassJAM Feeling the Heat

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    I've got the 550xp, and while it's a crazy-impressive saw as far as speed, weight, and handling, but I wouldn't want it to regularly be bucking larger logs. I originally bought it thinking it'd be my 1 saw answer, but realized pretty soon that'd I'd be happier with something larger for bucking. So I'd throw out any of the 50cc options, or some of the larger home/ranch models as long as you're willing to pay for a pro-level saw, because a 550xp or 261 will absolutely STOMP a 291 or 455.

    I think the 360/361 is a great saw and should be a top choice for a 1 saw show. The 357xp probably is too, although I don't know a whole lot about that saw. Personally I went with a Home Depot rental Makita 6421. It's got about the power of the 360, with a couple extra lbs but the price was low $200's which helps make up for the weight. And I can/will bump it up to 79cc or a couple hundred bucks where it'll have about the best power/weight ration in it's class. But that's my 2 saw choice, for one saw only I'd probably try to stick with a 60cc pro model.
    isipwater likes this.
  22. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for your perspective. I was hoping that a 550xp or and MS291 with an 18" bar would be ok for bucking 24" diameter or less logs (mostly softwood). That way I wouldn't have to spend the extra $$ on a 60cc, like the MS361. I would love the MS361 but not at new prices of close to $700. I have been looking for used 360,361,362 but there are not that many on AS or Ebay. I also like your Makita route but I already called Home Depot and there are no stores in my area that have any rentals for sale, at least, right now. The search continues.
  23. bassJAM

    bassJAM Feeling the Heat

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    Bid is at 310 now, personally I think it's still worth that price. But with patience you can probably find one locally for cheaper as long as you aren't in a rush:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Makita-DCS6...142512524?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item1e88b3ef8c

    Also, the 550xp will handle wood that large. And if you expect most of the wood you'll be cutting is 16" diameter or smaller with a few larger pieces up to 24" I think it'll do fine, especially in soft wood. But keep in mind it was designed as a limbing saw, so it likes to be in high rpm's and doesn't like being bogged.
    isipwater likes this.
  24. woodboss

    woodboss New Member

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    I have a stihl 250 and a MS 441 with a 18" & A 25" bar great saw
  25. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I have that Makita 6401 (same as 6421, but with a non-CAT muffler). It's a great saw but a bit heavy for it's power. I'd much rather have a 361/362 or Husqvarna 562. Get to a Home Depot rental center or a Dolmar dealer to feel its weight.

    Now if you are going to swap a big bore kit onto the Makita 6401/21 to a to get it to 79cc or 84cc's, then that makes a very good investment. I put the OEM 79cc kit on mine and loooove it.
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