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Yet another question on which chain saw to get but can only spend up to $250

Post in 'The Gear' started by smabon, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    Yep, another which chain saw question. I have done some searching on the forum already but all of the threads end with everyone suggesting to get a pro saw. Well that's all fine and dandy if money is no issue. But for me, money is an issue and can only spend up to $250. I would like to get a saw with an 18" blade on it. That is what I feel most comfortable with. I would prefer to buy new and not get a used one form a private sale, don't want someone elses headache. Not much on fixer uppers. Wouldn't mind getting a factory refurb. one somewhere but don't know where to look or who to trust. Will most likely have to get it from one of those dreaded big box stores or on line. I am very comfortable running a saw and falling trees but am no where near a pro. Any suggests one a saw? What I would like to do is buy this saw and use it for my main saw and then in 4 or 5 years try to save up for a pro saw and have this one for a back up or for limbing. Let me know what you all think would work for me. Thanks for your time.

    I was just looking on-line at Sears website and they have a Husky with an 18" bar and has a 38.2cc engine for $230. The website doesn't saw what model it is. Sears item #07135265000, Mfr. model #952802268. I looked quick on Huskys webiste but was unable to find it there. Anyone have any info about this saw or thoughts on this saw. Once again thanks for your time.

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  2. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Hate to break it to you but $250 for a brand new saw from any of the 3 main manufacturers is not going to get you a saw that will pull an 18" bar well. Either back off on bar length. At the $250 price point your choices are Ms210, Husky 440 or Dolmar 34. There is a BIN Makita 401 on ebay at $240. That comes with a 16" bar. To effectively run an 18" bar you really need to be near the 50cc size class and $250 doesn't get you there.
  3. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Up your budget to around $300 and you should be able to find a refurb 6400 on ebay. You wont come close to finding a better deal on a new pro grade saw that will pull a 18"-20" bar nice for this money.
  4. NoPaint

    NoPaint Member

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    I feel as if an Echo is right around your price range.
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If you're buying new $250 will limit your options severely. But I'm with NoPaint. Take a good long look at the Echo line. They make a good saw and they are 3/4 the price of similar sized Husqvarnas or Sthils.

    EDIT - If you're buying used then you never know what you'll get for $250. I'd guess you could get pretty near anything if you're patient.
  6. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    I can't imagine too many reasons not to go with a used Stihl or Husky. I got a MS310 with a 20" bar that's in great condition for less than $200 used. Just stay away from saws that are busted up, but there are saws everywhere on craigslist, ebay, and pawn marts. I'd rather have my used Stihl than a brand new Poulan Pro from Lowes. As long as you are picky and don't buy stuff that looks like it was dropped out of a tree everyday you should be more than ok buying used. When starting just make sure you put the choke on and pull till it starts then take the choke off and fast idle off and run. If it doesn't start after the 10th pull or so then don't buy.
  7. bsimon

    bsimon New Member

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    I'll tell you what you don't want to hear. My wife bought me a craftsman branded Poulan saw with a 16" bar that works just fine. I probably only cut 1/2 a cord each year, so don't need a pro saw. For the price, its a functional starter saw & leaves money left over for protective gear.
  8. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I love my Husquvarna 350, it has an 18"bar. If I keep the chain sharp it does great. Can't recall the price I paid I think around $275 for it new.
  9. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    The 450, the 350s replacement, is $350 where I'm at.
  10. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Check out the CS46. I think it would fit your needs nicely, until you get a pro saw in a few years. I just bought the CS56, and its a strong, well built saw. If there is a John Deere close by, go look at one : )
    http://cgi.ebay.com/JOHN-DEERE-CS46..._0?hash=item220352406947&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I used my father's Craftsman for a few years. I think it's 42cc and was about $200. It worked fine and was the easiest saw I've ever started. It had an 18" bar.

    I don't mind my upgrade though. It's a bit harder to start, but it will cut through a tree like butter. I also went to a 16" bar. I can always buy a 20" if I ever need it.

    Matt
  12. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    aandabooks is right. You are not going to get a saw from the big 3 that will pull the 18" bar for $250. As he said, the 210 which my wife has was about $250. It has a 16" bar and is not really what I would call a firewood saw. Nice and light and easy to use on smaller stuff but kind of a little toy in my opinion. I imagine the husky's in that price/cc range are similar.
  13. brages

    brages Member

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    This is the way I would go if I needed a good saw on your budget. These saws are made by Efco in Italy for John Deere. Deere is getting out of the saw business, so you can pick them up for cheap (< $200 shipped) on Ebay.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I'd say they are a great deal!
  15. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Hi 454,
    I think it might be helpful if we knew how much you are planning on cutting? Will you be felling? Tree diameter, etc...
    Basically, just a rough idea of what your uses will be, and I think it might be easier to sort out your saw type.
    I have a Craftsman with a 18" bar, runs I think 42cc....got some new chains for it and it runs well..bout 5 years old.
    I'm pretty much a scrounger, and cut down a lot of stuff on my mom in laws property...nothing terribly large...but some good size trees. If I was getting log length wood, I would go with a Stihl or a Husky. Actually looking to replace my crapsman with a 16" bar, as I don't do a ton of bucking, and limbing can wear on the arms after a few hours.
    good luck.

    Also, where you at in Mass....I'm up around Mt. Wachusett. Heard Schofields in Leominster is good for a dealer....but might be out of your price range.
  16. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    For $250 you're not going to get a new "good" brand saw. But you still have optios. Properly cared for a budget saw will do what you need to do and not cost you a fortune. I've gotten by just fine with my cheap Craftsman 18" saw for the last 10 years. I run it hard, put it away wet and it always fires right up for me...I do not pamper it, but I take care to always use clean fuel, good abr oil and keep the chain sharp. Paid like $130 for the thing. I've love to get more of a pro saw because my saw is a bit light on raw torque so it binds up fairly easily...so I've adapted by technique to avoid situations where I know it'll give me trouble. No reason why you shouldn't consider a Craftsman, Echo, Poulan...heck a Wild Thing will do the job if you;re doing 5-10 cords a year.

    I think most people would like to own a BMW or Mercedes, but for most of us, the budget won't allow more than a Toyota or a Ford. Still works fine, but its not as nice, nor as powerful...but its less than half the price.

    I had another thread about a week ago (linked below) where I saw a CL ad for a used Husky 455 for about half the new price, the lister never returned my contact but I did get a couple lead from some fellow forum members that they may have comparabe saws for around that same price. You might want to send Jack33 a PM and see if you can work a deal with him on one of his extra saws. You can get a nice pro class saw for not alot of money. I do not know him personally, nor his reputation so I can't vouch for how he takes care of his equipment, but it might be worht your while to look into it.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/34815/
  17. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    The JD looks like a great deal. I want one now. After reading th reviews on these saw they look even better.
  18. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    Thanks for all of the info, keep it coming. A couple of the replys have asked how much wood I will be cutting and if I will be falling trees. Mostly I will be cutting trees that are already down, but if one comes along that I need to fall I will be dropping it. My grandfather taught me alot about cutting and safety. I plan on cutting about 8 - 12 cords of wood a year. I am leaning towards the John Deere saw. Sounds like a good deal. I did find a Husky 455 Rancher on CL that is NIB for $275. I usually don't have much luck with CL, usually a day late and a dollor short. Wish I had some more funds because I did also find a Jorsered 90cc 24" chain saw for sale for $250. I know it's more saw that I need but it sounds like you can never have a big enough saw. Once again thanks for your time and keep the suggestions coming.

    scott
  19. MGC67

    MGC67 New Member

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    Great thread, I fall into the same situation with funds. The JD looks good, i wonder about finding parts for it. I looked at the Echo 400 w/ 5 year warrenty; seems to be a strong running saw. Prices are all over the board for it ranging from $225 to $299.00. The husky rancher is seems quite heavy at 13 lbs. In a perfect world I would like to keep weight at around 11 lbs.

    Good luck shopping,

    -mike
  20. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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  21. smabon

    smabon New Member

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    Thought that I got lucky with CL. Found a Husky 359 with 20" bar on it only used a couple of times. Person was asking $200 for it but once again I was a day late. I sent him an e-mail about it to get more info on it. He replyed back but by the time I sent him another message saying that I would take it some one else beat me to the punch. Kind of ruined my day. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Just have to keep on looking. Did find a 455 Rancher for $220 but it kind of looks well used in the pics.
  22. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Believe it or not, I found rebuilt Poulons with an 18" bar for sale at harbor freight for $100. When I went to the back of the store to find them, they had sold out. It was advertised in their ad flyer. When I asked for a rain check they said that this was the regular price and I could buy one when they were back in stock but no rain check.

    I don't know much about Poulon saws except what I read about them on this site. But keep your eyes out. Even though I have a Stihl ms390 with a 25" bar, I would buy that HF saw. Its almost too good to be true.
  23. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Don't shy away from the Craftsman 42cc. That's what I'm packin', and with a decent chain this saw will amaze you. I especially like the tool- less chain adjustment. Yes, I've had my teething times with it when an off the shelf chain from Sears would dull up all too soon. But after an Oregon semi- chisel chain it's a pleasure. Though I am kinda outgrowing the power, not meaning to sound snooty- but for the tree size I cut I'm good, but I do keep a half- eye out for an MS250/ 270, just because...................
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I have one of the 36cc Pull-on saws (the CORRECT spelling of Poulon, as it describes what you'll spend lots of time doing with it...) Mine came with a 16" bar, which was WAY to big for it, especially with the <deleted> "safety chain" that came on it. With a 12" bar, a retrofitted chain brake, and pro-grade chain, it's a tolerably decent limbing saw, but I wouldn't consider it anything great... Poulon, as well as Crapsman, are saws that are strictly consumer grade, occasional use, "disposa-saws" They are more difficult to work on than a pro-saw, and not as durable, so when they break they often aren't worth fixing...

    I would possibly consider one of those $100 recons as a backup saw, or a loaner, and it would be OK for the occasional use "after storm cleanup" and such, but I wouldn't consider it a good saw for making lots of stove wood. IMHO (and I took some convincing) it is worth saving the pennies to get a good pro-grade saw, it will cost more, but will last much better, and give much better service

    Gooserider
  25. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    It may be fun to try modding though!


    Matt
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