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Which saws do most of you use

Post in 'The Gear' started by KYrob, Jan 17, 2010.

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  1. KYrob

    KYrob Member

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    I have been contemplating getting either a MS 250 or MS 290. Also checked out the Husky rancher. Which saw would be best for longevity and cutting about 5 cords per year. Trees are no more than 20 inches through if that. I am kinda leaning towards the MS 250 due to weight and it being 15 cc bigger than the 25 year old poulan I have been using for that many years. Opinions?

    Thanks,
    Rob

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  2. WNCburner

    WNCburner Member

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    I think Stihl, Husky, and Dolmar all make quality saws that will cut well and last if used and maintained correctly. Many people own saws of other brands that have served them well for many years, but these are the three that seem to be the industry leaders in terms of quality and longevity. You might want to use whichever one has a dealer close by that you like to do business with. You may find that one brand feels better in your hands than another as well, so it's a good idea to hold each one to see what feels right. Good luck with the hunt!
  3. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    The folks in the Woodshed and Gear forums are very passionate about their saws - you are likely to get a bunch of strong opinions on them there! (Unless they are all out cutting wood...)
  4. grateful

    grateful New Member

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    Good morning Rob

    I started out with the farm boss, then the next largest and finally got the MS 361. The saw shop gladly took back the saws for an upgrade. Anyway, the 361 cuts the best with the least amount of vibration, it is about 6 horse power. I cut about 7 cords of red fir and tamarack (20" dia. max) per year. The air filter needs cleaning every few cords and be sure to flip the bar every now and then so the guides in the bar wear evenly. The shop told me to use the decompression button all of the time or not at all, I have never used it because the saw starts easily without it.
    You may want to see what their exchange policy is just in case.
    Enjoy your new saw
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    The 290 is a h_ll of a lot more saw than the 250 for only $20-$30 more.

    If you're a weight sissy I'd spend the extra $150 on a 260.
  6. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    He means Douglas Fir (God's own firewood)
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    How did you get 6 horses out of a 59 cc saw? Stihl rates it as 4.4 HP.
  8. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    LL, I was wondering the same!

    KYrob: I owned the 250 with a 16" bar and loved it--it started and ran like a champ every time. I cut 4-5 cords last year, all in the 20-24" range. Two weeks ago, I bought an MS361 because I wanted something a bit more powerful for bucking with an 18" bar. After using it yesterday to fell, buck, and limb a 40' oak (22") here is what I think:

    -I noticed the 2# difference between the 250 and 361 (10.3 vs. 12, actual weights), so the 13# 290 would feel like a pig (and it does, to me)
    -If you're gonna be bucking/limbing <20" trees, a 16" bar would be fine and the 250 would pull it as good as an 18 on the 290.

    If weight doesn't matter, the 290 has a pretty good reputation for being bulletproof (and boat-anchorish!).

    S
  9. Kong

    Kong New Member

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    I own a 026, an 029, and a 361.

    I put the 029 up for sale on E-Bay two days ago. If I end up getting $200 for it and the spare bars and chains I've included in the sale I'll be happy as a clam. The saws we use are the 026 and the 361. If I had to sell one of them it would be the 361. I wouldn't sell it because the 026 was a better saw, only because its better suited to the 10 cords I go through a year and its weight is better suited to my age and physical condition.

    Oh, if you want to bid on my saw, please feel free to do so.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting too old to memorize specs and I hate how Stihl creates confusion with their model numbers. The 361/362 looks like my kind of saw.

    I've used a 65 cc saw most of my life and never had any issue with weight. My first saw was a 55 cc and I prefer the extra 10 cc. Saw weight is only an issue if you're a welterweight which I'm not. I think I was around 165 lbs when I started out. I'm closer to 200 now.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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  12. Stubborn Dutchman

    Stubborn Dutchman Member

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    +1! I got my 361 a month ago and I could't be happier. If it can't handle the tree, then I have no business tackling it! I think having a 20" and 25" bar cover all the bases.
  13. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    To quote Jay . . ." . . . 460"

    To quote me . . ."Get the 660. Then you can always get a 440 (441 Now?) by telling the Missus that you are scared yer gonna hurt yerself with the 660. Best of both worlds"

    The Huskys are a sports team. :lol:
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    stock 660 or ported 460 is the same power just less weight with the 460, but if your cutting all day everyday 660.
  15. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I love my two Husqvarna's.. but i would not buy the Rancher series sold in the box stores. Go to a real power equipment store that carries Husky and check out a 359, it's my favorite saw.. I will admit my next saw will be a Dolmar 7900.
  16. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Most of me uses Dolmars. The rest, who knows... :)
  17. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    I have had a Husqvarna 50 for about 20 years and is still a great saw that I use for alot of small to mid size wood. I bought a Stihl 390 this year that has many pro features of the 361 for a fair amount less dollars. It is a 60cc machine and will handle larger bars. I use a 20 on it and like it for my mid to large stuff. It is nice I can get a larger bar if I want to go after the real big stuff, but I have easily cut 3 ft diameter trees with the 20 inch bar.
  18. southbound

    southbound Minister of Fire

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    To start I'm a Stihl guy...All I own are Stihl....My FIL runs a 361 and I can't see what is so great about the saw...I have read all the good and bad about it,folks seem to have trouble keeping it idling and so on blah blah. I know the one I get to play with is rough at best..

    Do you have to buy new??

    You can save and get deals on older Stihl models for less$$$$..

    038,038super.038Mag.044,046 and so on...

    Good luck....
  19. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Husky 455 rancher. Stupid rookie mistake. Power/weight ratio sucks, and the sprocket is now (after about 3 years bucking about 5 cds/yr) worn to the point I think it needs to be replaced.
  20. snowtime

    snowtime Minister of Fire

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    I currently am using a 361 and like it for its anti vibration. Its a good pro saw very smooth. At 65 I am careful to get saws that I can handle easily.
  21. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I love my Dolmar 7900 - which I mostly run with a 20" bar, and use for everything from felling to limbing, as I consider myself to be mostly on a "one-saw" plan. My Pull-on is not a bad cutting saw once I got rid of the 16" bar it came with, and put a 12" on it like it should have had, but it weighs almost as much as the Dolmar, shakes a lot more, and makes me have to reach out a lot more to get what I need to cut... Therefore I don't use it that often.

    The 7900 is WAY overkill for most of my cutting, but I knew I was looking at a "one-saw" plan, and occasionally I get really big rounds in my log length loads, and I wanted something I could mount a 28" bar on and handle anything the tree guy could bring me...

    If I were to get another saw, or if I hadn't needed the "big wood" capability, I probably would have gotten a Dolmar 5100, and put a 16" or 18" bar on it.

    Gooserider
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I have no experience with Dolmars . . . but a lot of folks here use them and like them.

    Most of my experience has been with Stihl and Husky . . . in terms of longevity either one would work well. If I was to buy another saw I think I would splurge a bit though and go with a saw that is a bit better than the one I have . . . one with a few more "industrial" parts.
  23. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Stihl 026PRO. 18" bar Bought mid-nineties sometime. Good size and weight for me.




    I used to borrow my Dad's Jonsered and it was a POS. Cut and ran OK, but spent more time reassembling it as it fell apart than cutting. :) It's still on the shelf in his garage.
  24. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    Funny, my brother has an 80's Jonny Red that he swears by--14" bar he used to cut down 10 24"+ pines!

    The reality is this: All of the better manufacturers--Stihl, Husky, JRed, Dolmar, Echo, etc.--produce fine products intended to work hard with minimum down time. What one chooses depends strictly on preferences such as dealer, weight, power, ergonomics, price, etc. Periodically, companies produce models that *most* see as well-done: Stihl's 290, 260Pro, 361; Husky's 346, 372; Dolmar's 5100, 7900, etc.

    That being said, Stihl's the best. FLAME ON!!!

    S
  25. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I run a Dolmar 5100 & Makita (dolmar) 6401. I see Stihl 361 size saws, Huskys, and an occasional Echo in the woods. The RedMax, and Solo's seem Ok but I've not had them over for dinner.

    ATB,
    Mike
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