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Which Stihl for my dad?

Post in 'The Gear' started by fabsroman, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Go with a 28" on that 660.Sure it'll handle the 36" no problem,but unless you're running a chainsaw mill or bucking huge rounds all the time,that's more weight to lug round all day.Since you're not 6' + & built like a brick chithouse like your old man lol.I'm just 5'7,170ish & almost no fat,but anything over 28" on a 85+cc saw is tiring for me for more than 2-3 hrs at a stretch.Especially as I get older.Sure dont use my extra long bar that much,it can hang inside shed wall for months at a time.

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  2. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    You have to read the entire original post to understand. Yes, it is a gift for my dad, but almost all the time he is cutting with me. Trying to see if it makes sense to have two of the same saws on the site versus adding something different to the mix. My dad runs my 660 without batting an eye. However, having two of those saws at most of the jobs we do would be utterly ridiculous. I'll be getting him a pro level saw, and money isn't really an issue. The only issue is which one for the 10% of his wood cutting that he does without me. Heck, might just buy me the 362 and tell him he can keep one of the saws at his house and use it when I am not there with him. That way, they are all my saws, but he gets to use whatever the heck he wants. Then, we can buy him something else for his birthday. Then there is the fact that he is horrible with maintenance, etc. I am creating a headache for myself here.

    The more I think about this, the worse it gets. Went to Stihl's website to look at the saws, and just decided on the 192 instead of the 170 for me.
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I would still keep the 25" bar and chains for the 660. Maybe just keep the 25" bar and chain on it and bring along the 36" bar and chains.

    Starting to think I might be better off just doing more cutting and less thinking. Sort of like my dad's style. Smoke em if you got em. Otherwise, "Don't worry about it." That is one of his favorite sayings.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    2 guys & 4 fairly new Stihl chain saws, you should have fun getting in your fire wood.
    How much do you burn per year?

    "Buy the 211 and 362 , let him use all 3 saws,"
    Maybe he'll want to take both or all 3 home LOL :)
    16 - MS211.jpg


    25 - MS362.jpg
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Smart man your dad :)

    Chain saws don't cut wood, people do ;) LOL
  6. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    No idea how much my dad burns per year. This is his second season with his insert. When he was using the fireplace without the insert, he was burning a ton. He got the insert in the middle of last season, so no idea what he burns with the insert. Would guess he has 5 cords stacked up at his place. This is my first season with this furnace and we have gone through 2 cords, maybe 3, at this point and it has been a really mild winter. Put up 10 cords last summer/fall in 2011. Cut four truckloads in December 2012 but that was about it for 2012. Probably do a ton of cutting after tax season though. Had other projects that kept me busy during most of 2012 (e.g., furnace install, water heater install, brake lines on car, new baby).
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    2 brothers and 2 sisters, and everybody is making $100k+. So, don't think money is really an issue. We just agreed to spend $1,200 on a snowblower that my brother is getting him as a late Xmas present. We could get him a 660 if that would make sense, but I don't think it does. On any tree that would require a 660, I would be there, and probably a brother or two would be there, to help, so we would have my 660 anyway.

    Think it is going to come down to the 261 or the 361/362 as far as what he would like to use.
  8. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Wow, never? You cut any pistol butt trees, leaners, hangers, had any barber chair or flip over backwards on you? Or had crown branches pinch your bar limbing them out? I have had several trees or logs pinch bars in some unexpected way. Usually after a long day of falling, when everything goes well and then one gets you and falls weird, leans back, hangs, pinches the saw bar, a gust of wind comes up, you cannot get a wedge in there, or whatever. With an inboard clutch I just pop off the power head and either put on another bar or cut it out with another saw.

    Old saying here in Oregon that I heard from an old school logger at a camp some years back: "You're not a faller 'til you have a tree spin 180 degrees on you and land right on your saw." I have yet to have that happen, but shyte does happens.
    OldLumberKid and TreePointer like this.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    For the size of your dad, you seem to have a good answer. I doubt he will not like either the 361 or 362. I run mainly a 25 inch bars on the 361s. Many here will say they are too long for that saw, but I have not found that to be the case. I usually run a 32 inch on my 660, and I have PNW long bar disease. I had 36 inch bars on my big old thumb oiler MACs though and they cut anything. I was younger and stronger then though, and a lot more tolerant of high vibration.
  10. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Why don't you just tell your Dad about this forum, and how everyone has been all wrapped the past week in several threads over the best saws and such, and ask him matter-of-factly for his opinion, if he was going to go out and buy himself a new saw now days, what would he get himself. You might be surprised at your Dad's answer.........................hell, maybe he want's a husky!
    amateur cutter likes this.
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    lol - You must have missed the post where I said he does not pay attention to numbers, etc. I doubt he even knows what Husqvarna is. All he has ever used is McCulloch and Craftsman. Doubt he even knew about Stihl until I took him to the John Deere dealer up here, who also happens to be a Stihl dealer. When I told him I wanted the 261, he said "What the heck do you want to spend that kind of money on a saw for?". Then, he used it and now every time we go to a Stihl dealer he is looking at them. Every time he sees an ad in the paper for them, he makes sure he mentions it to me. One time we were at the Stihl dealer and he was looking them over. I said, "What the heck do you want to spend that kind of money on a chainsaw for when you can borrow mine whenever you want?" His response, "I don't feel like driving 30 minutes each way when I want to use it."

    My dad will also spend down, even knowing that we are buying it for him. He does not want to spend his money, and only wants to spend our money just slightly more. So, if I take him to the dealer and ask him which one he would like, he would be paying attention to price tags. Best thing would be to allow him to use every possible one for an hour or so, without price tags, and then have him tell me which one he likes. That would be in a perfect world.

    It is somewhat funny though. He used to spend money to buy really good tools (e.g., table saw, planer, handsaws, etc.), but never bought a really good chainsaw. The other tools have lasted his entire life. Chainsaws, not so much.

    Edit to add: Think I am going to talk to him about it and see what he wants. Kind of like my wife buying a tool present for me. Not a good idea. Don't want to get him a saw that he does not want.
    DexterDay likes this.
  12. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    He sounds like me. I hate anyone spending a lot of money on me.
    Weird,....isn't it.
    However, if someone wanted to buy me a new Stihl............:cool:
  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    ;)
    Still think he'd like the 562 LOL :)
    Has "Rev boost" so he can out cut you. LOL :)
    Less vibration!
    Looks really cool !

    Husq562XP.jpg
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Nice. 1/3 more power than my 455 from only about 5 more cc displacement and slightly lighter weight.
    WTH!?
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep... the 59cc 562XP...... Pretty impressive :)
  16. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    The 562 is barely better than the 382. Think .3 pounds lighter and .1 bhp more power.
  17. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    My father was the same way. Always had good tools and a little Poulan micro as his firewood saw. Then when I was 13-14ish he bought a Poulan 69cc powerhouse 4200 counter vibe and I got to run the micro. We cut 7-8 cord a year from The time I can remember. He sold his old farmall BN (narrow crop machine and kinda rare in these parts for a smaller garden tractor to maintain the landscaped yard. He then sold the big Poulan and continued to use the micro. Those were the last of thr good poulans, usa made. I got my tree trimming job in 98 and the boss bought new saws every year. I was the ground (grunt) and used the pair of husky 365 specials from the day they were new. Once they were a year old he bought new saws, part of a tax write off and part of wanting new equipment to minimize production loss. I wanted to purchase one of the 365's. He would only sell me both of them for 450. One was basically brand new as it was the backup and didn't have the side chain adjuster, so I rarely used it. I still have that original 365 today, although it wears a highly ported xpw (75cc) top end these days. I gave one to dad... He used it twice and said he didn't like it. Gave it back and I bought him a brand new husky 51 with an 18". He loves that saw. Well he did until someone stole it about two years ago out of the back of the truck at a gas station.

    Anyways, kinda sounds like you've made up your mind on the 362. Good saw. I would fit it with a 20" though. It will pull a 25" if needed, but it isn't very fast in hardwoods with it. Plus the oiler has trouble with that long of a bar. I personally feel a 28" is about perfect on a 660/066. I have a 36" only because I have a chainsaw mill. There is not too much you can't cut down with a 28 or 32". 36" are very nose heavy and with a 114 drive links, it takes forever to sharpen the chains and it won't set any speed cutting records. Here is a pic from about ten years ago. The 660 has a 32" and the screaming ole 066 red light was wearing a 28" The 1/4 of the tree where I was standing was rotted bad. The stump flair was just over 5'9" across the widest spot. I got almost 5 cord out of that tree. It had branches 60' up that we're 24-26" in diameter.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You know better Scotty.... ;) (no such thing!)

    Now there's a plan.
  19. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    No, they aren't even close.. look at some youtube videos. This is where getting to run them will tell you otherwise. the 550xp (50cc) takes out a ms 362... the 562xp is stronger than a 372xp in wood 20" and smaller. a 362 won't even come close to a 372 with a melted piston and cylinder.. husky has some real game changers with the 550xp and 562xp. I'm seriously thinking about selling my 372xp to get a 562xp. they have Autotune like the M-tronic... this is where all the stihl diehards start turning in their dealerships. quite a few stihl dealers over on As admittingly love the 550xp. Stihl has nothing to compete with it for power and weight. same with the 562xp. The 550xp has strong mid 60cc power in a lightweight 40 cc package and uperior air filteration, and the 562xp has strong 80cc power in a 50cc weight frame. the 550 and 562 are like light sabers and the stihls just cut wood...
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  20. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    Here's a video from a guy out west. a stihl 361 with a dual port modded muffler (for more power) vs a stock husky 562xp, vs a stihl 440 with a dual port and a 372xp with a dual port muffler mod. Now the 361 is stronger than a 362 out of the box... this is real word test, not race type crap. all use the same bar and chain...



    for the summary:

    stihl 361 37 seconds
    Husky 562xp 32 seconds
    husky 372xp 36 seconds
    stihl 440 32 seconds...
  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I would have to run the two saws myself to see, or see a more scientific test than people cutting wood with different saws, even if they do swap the bar and chain between saws.

    Then next year, there will be something better out. Always is with almost everything.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    And cut, and cut, and cut. 30 years later, still cutting.

    There was a ton of hype over the 346XP (still is) and I'm not denying the performance of that saw. But I do know that 346's that were run daily, hard, did not hold up like 026/MS260's. One very busy tree service was wearing out top ends every 18 months on their 346's. (Not straight-gassing, not scorching, just wearing them out with 50:1 mix, tried 40:1, no better.) You turn more RPM's you're gonna wear things out faster. Bar none. Until there are major changes in the materials that go into these things, that will hold true, regardless of brand.

    And what is wrong with that? I'm a Mustang kid at heart but that doesn't mean I wouldn't love to romp on a new Corvette. ;)

    Time will tell with the new 550XP and 562XP. I like 'em. A lot. Not only are they pushing the performance envelope, they are damn sexy looking machines to boot.

    Most here on this forum (and this is why we are different than AS) are concerned with a saw's long-term reliability and value above all else. Having absolute cutting edge performance is a close second. We want performance but not at the cost of reliability/durability. Which explains the reason why most here are running stock Stihl mid-range and pro-level saws. A few polls recently have shown that. We're truckers rather than racers. ;)
    OldLumberKid, Boog and ScotO like this.
  23. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    That is correct. I am not in a hurry to cut wood when I am out doing it. Just want to do it safely. Granted, it doesn't hurt to get it done faster, but at the end of the day I am not too worried about saving 10 minutes over the length of the day.

    Now, the longevity of the saw is extremely important to me. I hate replacing gear/equipment unless the new gear/equipment is just a lot better technologically. The amount of "old" stuff I have is incredible and I am only 41 years old. I just take care of stuff and don't abuse it. Lasts a lot longer that way.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  24. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    How old is your Dad?

    I'm 63 and A new Stihl would cut longer than I think I will.

    I'll bet he'll think a new saw is a waste of dough.
  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    He just turned 70, and yes the saw will probably outlast him. Same goes for any new guns, possibly any new cars, etc. Does not mean he should not use one while he can. Why use a Craftsman while he can use a Stihl. Plus, he is the one looking at them every time we go to the dealer together, and mentioning them every time he sees them in the paper. If he did not have any interest in them, then I would not be bothering. I think I had already said all of this before.

    A buddy and I get into this discussion about him buying a new gun. He wants one like me, but at 50 believes the gun will outlast him so there is no need for it. My take, I am 41 and the gun I have been using is 16 years old. I think it will outlast me still even though it is already 16 years old. My argument is that it is one of the best performing shotguns out there and it is really easy to clean.

    My dad's issue is really using the vertical splitter and lifting large logs because of his hip, and I think that issue might resolve itself. He has no problem running a saw.

    FYI - my dad has some guns that are older than me, and that I will probably inherit. Good thing he didn't pass on buying them because they would outlast him.

    Last but not least, my dad's MO is to look at things while we are out to hint at what he wants. That was what brought about the snow blower present. He had been looking at them for a couple years. Almost bought his insert for him one year, but that was a battle between he and my mother that I did not want to get in the middle of. He finally won that battle and after experiencing the insert, my mom admits she was wrong and has been looking at a porcelain one for the living room upstairs.
    DexterDay likes this.

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