Getting a new saw for this year

Matt93eg Posted By Matt93eg, Sep 14, 2017 at 7:03 AM

  1. Matt93eg

    Matt93eg
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    Nov 18, 2013
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    Hello everyone. With the fall approaching I am looking for a new chainsaw. My Dad, Uncle, and myself all cut wood together during the winter as we all heat with wood. Few years back I bought a homeowner grade Husqvarna 450, Dad has an old McCholloch Pro Mac 610, and my uncle has a Husqvarna 61.

    I am looking to upgrade my saw. I'm keeping the 450 and will replace the 20" bar with an 18 probably but need a saw that's happy running a 24" B&C all day long and will happily run a 28" as well. I will also need to use a 32" at times but that will be more rare. The 24" and 28" will mostly be what I'm running.

    I have narrowed it down between these 3 and wanted to see what you guys think. Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 576XP, Husqvarna 390XP. I know with the 390 I would probably never want more power but that's going to be over $1,000 out the door which I will do if need be because this will be the last saw I buy for a long time. Any opinions would be great. Also my 450 is rated at 3.2HP, the 372XP is rated at 5.5HP. How much difference with a chainsaw does an extra 2HP make?

    The 372XP is lighter than the 390. If later i felt I needed more power I could get it professionally ported. Then have more power still in a lightweight package.

    Also for the info I mainly cut hardwoods, mostly red and white oak.
     
  2. StihlKicking

    StihlKicking
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    With the bar lengths you listed I think your in 390 territory. I use STIHL saws and always use a 661/660 for any bars north of 24". Matter of fact I usually use the 661 for a 24" bar. My 440 will pull a 24 or 28" bar but when you have the bar buried in hardwood it doesn't pull them nearly as well as the 90 plus cc saw. I'm sure the 70 and 90cc class Husqvarna saws are very comparable to the STIHLs performance wise. If you can stand the weight and price of the 90cc saw you won't regret it.


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  3. lsucet

    lsucet
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    I have the 576 XP AT with 24". Is like nothing is there. It is rated up to 32".
     
  4. lsucet

    lsucet
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    Sometimes I feel we forgot one of the most important points and that is the type of chain. The chain for softwood will feel laggy if you switch to hardwood. That detail can make a saw looks bad. If you do both type of wood is better have two sets of bar/chain and swap it. Including a 50CC saw with the right chain/bar can do some damage.
     
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  5. Matt93eg

    Matt93eg
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    Nov 18, 2013
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    Thanks for the coMoments. I still am pondering. I called a couple local places today.

    I can get the 372XP OTD with a 24" for $844.23.
    The 390XP OTD is $1,070 with a 24" and $1,112.80 with a 28".
     
  6. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    Jan 16, 2017
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    It's easy to over-estimate the power you need. If you were really going to be burying a 28" bar in oak on a regular basis and sometimes a 32" bar in even bigger wood, then don't hold back in the power department. But if this is the saw you're going to use as your go to saw for smaller stuff too, I would argue it's better to undersize for the occasional big stuff and keep your chain well tuned and engine running well. If you plan on using that 32" bar to fell trees bigger than the bar, then you want something more in the class of a 661 or even an 880 (and a mid-sized saw for the rest). But if you're not using it to fell the big stuff it makes more sense to undersize a little.

    There are a lot of disadvantages to a saw that's bigger than necessary including fuel and oil consumption, weight, fatigue and stamina, harder starting, and cost. And a big saw is more forgiving of a dull chain but I have a lot more fun sawing with a sharp chain on a smaller saw than a dull chain on a big saw.

    In the small stuff, no difference. In bigger wood it will decrease the amount of time it takes to make each cut (but not in proportion to the amount of extra power). Saws like to be fully loaded. I've cut plenty of wood with my 026 that could benefit a little bit from 30-40% more power. But I was still having fun with a sharp chain and good technique, it just takes a little longer (key words, "a little"). But it's still fun. On the other hand, if I had a 5.5 hp saw doing cuts that really only needed 3-3.5 hp, all of a sudden I'm not having fun. Because I can't really load the engine without putting excessive pressure on the chain. And that's just wrong.

    I would always go for the lightest saw that would not seem totally out of it's element. And, IMHO, porting a modern pro saw is over-rated. There was time in history when this was a good idea if you wanted the best possible saw but that's only because manufacturer's weren't doing a good job optimizing their saws. Now, not only is it time-consuming and/or expensive, the gains don't justify it. Modern saws are highly optimized to be practical, efficient and long-lasting. While it's fun to pretend to have something "better" than the plebian common man, and to have a better understanding of effective porting than Stihl or Husqvarna, the fact is, there's very little gain to be had without compromising other aspects, aspects that anyone who depends upon their saw would care about.

    I've seen people who think they need a more powerful saw when really all they need is to learn to properly sharpen their chain. I'm not saying this is your case, just that the chain makes a bigger difference than moving up one step up on power.
     
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  7. lsucet

    lsucet
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    That is well put together. I like that. Since i bought the poulan 50cc, after i started and check everything was working the next step was getting on the internet and get a professional chain from Oregon for that bar. My 576XP AT is nice but for what i do the small one with that chain is a killer. I can go all day and not get tired. but is good to feel the power of the husky.lol
     
  8. NW Pa Burner

    NW Pa Burner
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    Sep 3, 2015
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    I run mostly Stihls like StihlKicking, I have a 660 with a 28" bar and two 460s, one with a 20" and one with a 25". My go to so is the 460 with the 20" bar for scavenging firewood. The 460, 76cc, will pull a 28" bar and I know loggers that run that setup for felling. I've thought about selling the 660 as I don't really want to cut and handle firewood that I need that big of a saw for, but the saw brings a smile to ones face when the chips fly.

    If you're a Husky guy the 372 or 576 would be a good size. You can buy two used ones for the price of one new. Just look for a saw that wasn't used as a logging saw.

    You will notice 2 more horsepower in the saw or a pro saw vs a homeowner/rancher saw. You will also notice 2 extra pounds of saw after an hour of cutting.
     
  9. Dairyman

    Dairyman
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    I'd skip the 28" if you do need a 32. All 3 your looking at will do the job.
     
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer
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    Just to put something else on your radar...

    572XP was released in August. Not 576, not 372. FIVE-SEVEN-TWO.

    I don't know if you want to invest in a new model, but ask your dealer if there's any info on a USA/regional availability.

     
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer
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    If you are considering Stihl, add the MS-461 to your list.
     
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  12. Dairyman

    Dairyman
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    Or the 462.
     
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  13. StihlKicking

    StihlKicking
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    Let me say that I always use as small a saw and bar as the job will allow. If I'm running a 36" bar it's buried in 36" or larger wood. If your planning on pulling a 36" bar through 42" hardwood I promise you won't regret having a 90cc saw. All this being said I cut 90% of my firewood with a 261 and a 16" hardnose bar with a good sharp chain. If you are mainly gonna be cutting fire wood I would recommend either a pro class 50 or 70cc saw.


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  14. TreePointer

    TreePointer
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    Because of your post, I just read up on the 462. I like it already!
     
  15. Dairyman

    Dairyman
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    Looks to be a winner. Be interesting to see how it & the 572 compair.
     
  16. armanidog

    armanidog
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    Jan 8, 2017
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    I bought an Echo 18" saw last year and I am very impressed with it. The best thing is the 5 year consumer warranty. It is light and has started very easily.
    They have the CS-680 with a 66.8 cu inch displacement and it is available with 20, 24, and 27 inch bars. It seems to have good reviews. $639.
    http://www.echo-usa.com/Products/Chain-Saws/CS-680
     
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer
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    That's what I did with my 79cc Dol/kita. 24 & 32 = happy TreePointer
     
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  18. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    What model Echo and what did you own before the Echo? It helps to know what you're comparing it to when you say you're impressed after one season of use.

    Re: consumer warranties. I don't put much stock in them. I've cut everything in the last 20 years with a single hard working and ultra reliable and easy starting Stihl 026. It cost $325 new (seemed expensive at the time) and, if it ever had a warranty, it expired worthless. Actually, I'm sure it had a warranty of at least a year which is all I care about. If I get it home and it doesn't work, I want to know I'm covered. But once I've cut a few cords of wood with no issues, I figure I'm good to go. All it's needed in 20 years is gas, oil, chains, two air filters, one spark plug and a $20 fuel pick-up and 1/2 hour of my time. The amazing thing is the way it always starts easily, dependable like a Swiss watch, even after being put away for 6 months full of fuel. All it's ever had until this year is mid-grade ethanol w/ Stihl Ultra oil. I don't know anybody who's had a covered chainsaw warranty claim in years 2, 3, 4, or 5 so a longer warranty doesn't do anything for me. I can highly recommend the orange Echo chainsaw case I bought

    The 026 has grown on me because, even after all that abuse, it starts and runs stronger than it did the first year I owned it. And I was amazed at it's performance even when it was new. It was feeling a little lonely lately since I bought a new MS 261 CM this June. Why did I buy a new saw when the old one works so well? Especially a frugal person like me? When you have saved this much money over the years, I just couldn't help myself. Plus, I wanted a second saw to leave at my cabin. After sitting lonely and unloved all summer, I pulled out the venerable 026 to fell a 24" dead standing alder and buck up a wind-fall cherry (20") and another large alder on our 5 acre woodlot. I was in love all over again. While the new M-tronic 261 is just as reliable (at least after it's first 5 cords) and is rated with a bit more power, there's something to be said for a 20 year old saw that's been used hard and put away wet that still works better than when it was new (it has increased in torque and power over the years).

    I paid almost twice as much ($599) 20 years later for the same size/class Stihl saw and consider it a bargain! I would go out and cut and sell a cord of firewood to earn the difference before I would consider a lesser saw just because it was less expensive. Given my experience, cutting corners to save, what, a couple hundred bucks, is, IMHO, just plain silly. How can you put a price on 20 years of being able to use a pro-class every time I cut firewood, drop a tree or clean up after a storm? I could have bought a different 50cc saw back in 1997 for only $169. Assuming it had 20 years of reliability, I would have saved less than $8/yr but had less power, more vibration, higher fuel consumption, inferior ergonomics, harder starting and I think it's a stretch to think it would have been so perfectly reliable and loved like an old friend after 20 years of hard use. And, based on my first 5 cords with the 261 CM, I don't have any reason to believe it will be any different. Of course that's assuming I live long enough to find out!

    It's better to not have a warranty and not need it than to have a warranty that actually gets used! But all new saws come with a warranty of at least a year.

    Anyone have a 20 year old Echo as a primary saw that's never needed more than a new fuel filter/pickup? I know lots of people that have old Stihls that are "Stihl kicking" and I haven't seen any evidence the new ones will fare any worse.
     
  19. armanidog

    armanidog
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    I appreciate your review. I had a Stihl Farmboss (MS 270). I had a lot of problems with it. The Echo 18" I currently have has been reliable for the last year. And I really appreciate the lightness of the new saws, especially when cutting top limbs off newly felled trees holding the saw 5 feet up.
    As far as brand loyalty, here is a review of a 10 year old Echo from backyardboss:

    http://www.backyardboss.com/mfg_Echo/CS-670.aspx

    It really boils down to brand loyalty. And a five year warranty is better than than a 3 year warranty if the saw breaks in year 4. Hopefully I never find out for sure.
     
  20. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    Not really. It would be highly unusual for a saw to break in year 4. And if it did, it probably wouldn't be covered by the 5 year warranty. Warranty's don't cover breakage, only manufacturing defects. So, if the engine seizes in year 4 it's probably not going to be warranted. That's a common misconception.

    BTW, the Farmboss is not a pro saw. My advice is to pay more for a pro saw, even if you only cut a few cords of firewood, drop an occasional tree and clean up after the occasional storm. Time is money.
     
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  21. TreePointer

    TreePointer
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    +1

    Pretty much anything that goes wrong with a saw that's covered by a warranty will happen within the first year if it isn't a shelf queen. Most other things that go wrong are fuel related and generally aren't covered by warranty anyway.

    OP wants a saw that can run a 24-32" bar. That puts it in the 70cc+ area, which essentially are all professional class saws. Lower overall weight, greater horsepower for a given displacement, better power-to-weight ratio, and good antivibration technology are all features that I value for long cutting sessions.
     
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  22. BenTN

    BenTN
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    I run a 28" full skip on my 2172 and although it eventually gets the job done it is by far fun to run. Now that same saw with a full comp 20" bar is fun to run. If your looking to run a 28" or 32" often, my vote is for the 390.
     

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