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Wife wants a Stihl chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by southland, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. southland

    southland New Member

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    I was out shoping for a new chainsaw today with my wife. I'm trying to decide between the Husqvarna 346xp and the Stihl MS260. So we were at the Stihl dealer and she sees the 7lb MS 192T and wants it. While I can't stop her from buying it, I am discouraging her. I'm afraid she'll get hurt. She does know how to use power tools and builds small projects. Does anyone else have a wife/know a female who uses a chainsaw? If so, what brand/model/size?

    On the plus side, she said if we buy both of the Stihl saws, we can probably get a better deal. :)

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I don't have a woman sawyer in my family, but I always thought the general rule for for everyone is for the person to pick up the saw with her own hands to feel the weight, and if at all possible, get some test cuts with it. Also, I think it does take a while for the idea to set in that a heavier, yet more powerful saw can get the job done in less time, so fatigue is less of an issue. It's especially true when simply bucking firewood on a landing as opposed to constant limbing.

    Also have her consider the MS211, which has a little more power and grunt than the MS192.

    The next level up in my mind is a saw that can competently run .325 pitch chain (a quality 50cc saw). After that, 3/8 (.375) pitch starts at 60cc, but those saws may be too heavy for her.
  3. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I, personally, wouldn't want my wife's first saw to be a top-handled. On the other hand, I want one for myself, so it could be a good excuse to get one...
  4. brages

    brages Member

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  5. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    pretty awesome, but $350 is just a lot of money for such a small saw.
  6. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Danno; discourage her from starting with a tophandle. They are a specialized tool for arborist use while climbing, not a good first saw. If you search around there are some graphics showing the frequency of chainsaw injuries to different body parts. The left hand/arm are right up there with lower leg for most commony injured. A one handed saw is a bad idea IMO until she is very acustomed to working with a saw. One wrong move with that free hand and...well...not good.
    But there are plenty of light little saws out there in the 9 pound or less range and very few of them cost what the 192 does. I'll second the vote for ms211, or an MS180/181. Other than Stihl there is a huge selection from the ussual players: Dolmar, Echo, Husky.
    Something to think about though: If you are both getting saws, you might as well get two that complement each other such as one small (40-45ishcc) for her to use on limbing & small stuff and a larger saw like 60 or 70cc for felling & bucking. If she isn't with you all the time when cutting, you can then use either depending on the size of wood. Of course this only makes sense if you are comfortable running a bit larger saw and if you ever get into any larger wood. Under say 16" diameter the 50cc saws are perfect anyway.
  7. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Scars add charachter to a man

    Scars make a woman a . . . circus freak.

    Forget the gurly saw. She tire of the novelty long before you pay it off.
  8. southland

    southland New Member

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    Actually, she would be using it with two hands only, never one handed. Here's a picture of the saw being used from Stihl's web site that shows the hand placement. My concern is that the two handles are close together and she will have less control.

    Attached Files:

  9. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    Just the fact she wants one is a plus. Any more like her still at home?
  10. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I was talking to my Stihl repairman and he said he sells a lot of top-handle saws to first time users, especially women. He said they were slightly harder to control if you get a kickback, but a lot more people are hurt using saws too big for them, and those injuries are usually pretty severe. I don't know where he gets his figures from (maybe his head), but he said it's the one-hand use (which is what I would do with it) that is the big problem for beginners. Echo is making several top-handles, and since pros won't be going for the smallest ones, I'll assume the target market is homeowners. They just need to keep both hands on the wheel, so to speak.

    I'd probably want my wife to start with a small rear-handle saw, but I can see her getting into way more trouble with a hot saw like a 346XP than with a 192T.

    What about the Echo CS-310? Lightweight, easy start, short bar, narrow nose (less kickback prone), safety chain... 5 year warranty. I can see Lady BK falling in love with one of these.

    http://www.echo-usa.com/product.asp?Model=CS-310&Category=CHAINSAW
  11. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Sure, 2 hands are better than 1, but then why use a tophandle at all? I can see the usefulness of them, but I do think the temptation would be to clear the brush out of the way with the left hand & cut with the right. In fact I think that's a big reason many like them while working on the ground. I've never heard anyone argue that a rear-handle was more dangerous than a TH on the ground, but the opposite is often stated. I think you're right about the close-set handles making control a little harder.
    Look at the hand placement in that picture & then imagine a good kick-back. there's very little leverage to stop it & neither hand is likely to activate the brake, so you're counting on the inertial activation of the brake. I'm not saying TH's can't be used safely, just that it's not the saw I'd choose to learn on.
  12. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    So I should take a little chainsaw to my face & gain some character? :roll:

    I believe there are quite a few women out there who cut, split, stack & burn all the wood they need to heat their homes. They may even do it with "gurly" saws. A willie wasn't on the required gear list for firewood last I checked.
  13. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    With proper training a gal can cut just as good as a guy. I my self have never been comfortable with small lite saws. The reason is they are to comfortable and to easy to reach out, use one hand, not hang on to with a good grip. A bigger saw means you have to HANG on to it, get square to the cut, and be more aware of what you are doing. I can limb faster with my ms360 than with a small saw and I feel alot safer. I might get tired but then it's time to do something else then. If my wife wanted to buy a saw I would look for a medium saw that she could handle but would have to HANG on to with both hands and be square to the cut. Just my two cents
    leaddog
  14. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

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    I must say I agree. But I do live in the U.P.of Michigan, The women up here cut a lot more than just Pasty dough!
  15. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

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    Mr. Bobbit would of at least heard her coming if this was her tool of choice!

    Attached Files:

  16. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I bought the Jonsered 2152 for my wife and she loves it. She gets on the 71 every once in a while but is usually done pretty quick.
  17. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    If you reREAD my post, I said nothing about it being un-feminine for a woman to contribute to the wood-getting.

    What I said was, if your wife ends up with a scar from a chain saw, you are going to rue the day you let her get the saw. If YOU end up with a chainsaw scar, you are going to laugh about it -if, and when, you recover - and your wife is not going to think any less of you when she sees you.

    My case in point . . . go back and look at the Hott Chainsaw Chick posted above . . . notice any scars? Think she woulda made that sight if she had chainsaw scars?
  18. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    When my wife wanted a saw, she picked out the 180 cb-e. at first I hated the saw-too slow, to pansy. then I was forced to use it on a 4x trip to clear some dead fall. relized it wasnt a bad saw at all. you just gotta size the saw to the work, then size the worker to the saw!
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    192t is a nice saw!
  20. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Probably best to agree to disagree on about every point you're trying to make
  21. AngusMac

    AngusMac New Member

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    I prefer Stihls to any other make.

    No offence to the ladies, but I dont think my wife could handle a saw and I did see a lady at my local Stihl supplier, who was looking at buying and was getting shown how to work it, I really did fear for her safety.

    If your wife is determind, I would buy her the safety clothing to go with it.

    On the subject of which, I purchased safety trousers, I wanted to get the front only protection, they were about $120 cheaper, but the guy persuaded me to buy the trousers with back protcetion also, I m glad that I did, as last year my saw hit a bit of chicken wire and before I could even blink, it had dragged itself round the back of my legs and totally destroyed the trousers, my legs were undamaged, and I purchased a new pair, again with rear protection.
  22. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I was new with a saw once. If I saw a young Danno buying a saw in the store i'd be scared for that young Danno. I may not be the best user in the world NOW, but I'm pretty proficient. We all start somewhere.

    I know plenty of gals that could learn to do it. I know plenty of gals that shouldn't. But then I know plenty of guys that could or shouldn't.

    I do have to agree, though, that the "Chainsaw Chick" wouldn't be near as pretty if she was sporting chainsaw scars. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, though, because I'm so dang pretty it would be a shame for me to get scarred, too. (note the sarcasm)
  23. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

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    As others are saying in the thread, the top-handle saw is probably not a good idea for a first saw. Using both hands on a top-handle saw is signficantly less comfortable than both hands on a rear handle saw. You will definitely feel it in your wrists at the end of the day. It is also a poor leverage position to deal with kickback, compared to a right hand on the tail of a rear-handle saw.

    When not climbing, I use my MS200T in an "un-safe" manner. I hold limbs, up to maybe 6" in diameter, in my left hand. I lay them across my right thigh (on a chap for sure) and slice off 15" rounds about as fast as I can move the stick down. I find it fast and an efficient use of my energy, while cleaning up branches from trees that we take down. I would not recommend this for someone that is not extremely familiar with the reactive forces of the saw and strong enough to counter them. I keep the saw to the right of all body parts in this process.

    There are many great little saws around with rear handles. I would strongly encourage her in that direction. However, having a little beast of a top-handle saw around is sure nice! If you do any climbing, they really shine.
  24. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

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    AngusMac, great real life example; thanks for sharing this! I never really considered rear protection necessary, so only use "chaps." I may reconsider on the next set.
  25. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    The only way we will really know, Danno, that you are truely pretty, is if you post a pic of your wife so we have something to contrast you against

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