Help me decide on some equipment. Chainsaws, pickaroons, timberjacks and mauls.

redmanlcs Posted By redmanlcs, Apr 13, 2019 at 12:36 AM

  1. redmanlcs

    redmanlcs
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 20, 2017
    95
    37
    Loc:
    West Virginia
    Hello fellow hearthers. I need some advice and possibly some reviews of some equipment that I'm about to buy. I'll upload a few pics possibly.

    First off lets talk mauls. I'm currently using the cheapest maul Lowes has. Fiberglass handle, med wedge width, six to eight lbs I'm guessing. I don't really care. It was here when we moved in. It has never failed to bust a round. The best part is that it was free. Saving money is a priority. I have seen several on amazon, in Lowes and walmart. Is the fiskers any good? Fifty bucks sounds expensive. If you have any suggestions on mauls that are reasonably priced, please drop a tip on mauls.

    Second up lets talk pickaroons and timberjacks. For those that might not know, in a nutshell, its two devices that are used to move logs. Pickaroons are made for rolling logs and timberjacks are used to lift logs off the ground far enough to safely cut off a few rounds without the danger of hitting the ground with the bar of your saw. I'm thinking of getting one of these especially the timberjack. Has anyone ever used any of these? They are not that expensive and I can get one for around forty bucks.

    Some tools are needed in some situations, while others tools are needed in other situations. I usually have no problem felling, cutting, loading, transporting, splitting and stacking the firewood that I need although I'm sure there must be some easier ways of doing what I do. The hardest part of my "operation" is packing the rounds to the truck. My average pack distance (cut rounds to truck), is averaging 75 yards more or less. The rugged location makes taking a splitter not an option. I don't have the energy to split it there on location, then load truck, and I can't let the stack of wood sit there over a couple days. I usually cut for a couple days, then bring the truck to load the pile and bring home.

    Third and most important. (most expensive), here we go again, chainsaws. Lucky us we are only going to discuss two models and they both huskys. I am pretty much limited to what lowes has in stock. Please someone give a review!

    My current saw is what most people say is a Poulan. I first bought a Poulan 3314 at around 100 bucks a few years back and it gave out the second year. I went back and picked up a husky 240, another 14in saw. I hear they are still poulans and yes they are very similar. My 240 has not let me down the last year and a half. I have had almost zero problems with the saw, it starts fine for me, and seems to run better the more I use it. I have noticed if I overheat the saw on say a 20 in round of hickory, it will fail to start for 20 min or so. I don't know. Might be ignition, maybe vapor lock. I just don't overheat the saw and things are good. My 14in husky will cut, and has cut, and is continuing to cut larger rounds than what I care to pack out of the woods.

    On my last visit to Lowes I spotted a husky 440. It seems to me that the saws that lowes are offering has changed. Husky has changed their lineup as well. The 240 has been discontinued and what few were left sold for around 85 bucks. I would have bought 2 of them If I could have found them. I almost paid 200 dollars for my husky 240 when I had to replace the poulan. While I was at lowes, looking at and holding the 440, I noticed that the 440 has the pro style air cleaner which leads me to believe that these might be true huskys and not a poulan dressed in orange. This also leads me to think that these are not consumer saws (throw a way) but a step up, Homeowner or Farm Am I correct? Would I benefit from the 440? The 240 already is cutting more than I can pack or split. I don't really see a reason to buy the 440. Is the 440 worth the 300 dollars? The 440 is a light saw and don't weigh much more than the 240. Using a longer bar might save my back from bending over so far to delimb a felled tree though. Anyone using the husky 440? It probably hasn't been field tested much yet as I think it is a new model.

    Here is the type of maul I'm using, except mine has a fiberglass handle. Is the other types of mauls any better? Better as in less effort to split a round
    . 2.PNG
     
  2. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,973
    896
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I think you meant you use a Peavy for rolling logs. I have a Woodchuck Dual that has a neat system allowing it to be both a peavy and a timber jack. It's a great tool and I've even found a few "off label" uses for it. I ordered it on Amazon and at first feared buyer's remorse. It has definitely saved my chain a few times. I also have a Hookaroon for picking up splits and rounds. It definitely saves my back. Before the Hookaroon I snagged a pair of tongs that open fairly large. The log tongs are great for manipulating logs into cutting position along with the timberjack and/or peavy. The Hookaroon is a Husqvarna model and the tongs are Stihl. I buy my equipment from a local dealer that carries both brands. I'll probably buy another dedicated Peavy from the dealer as well, but they have some that aren't so pricey.

    This leads me to your saw question. Don't buy any more saws from box stores. My first saw purchase was a Husqvarna 460 that I ordered on Amazon from a saw dealer. The box store 460 is not the same. If you get the "real" (from a dealer) 460 it is basically a heavier pro saw. From Lowe's the 460 is a dressed up homeowner saw. The 460 is a "landowner" grade saw and at the time I needed one saw that could do everything; felling, bucking, and limbing. My body disagreed with this philosophy and I bought a tiny Stihl pro saw for limbing. It's a 150 TC for use while in a tree. The TC stands for top carry. This saw is tiny! It weighs nothing and doesn't wear me out. The 460 is just for bucking and felling. If I had known better I would have saved my money up for maybe a 50-60cc pro saw from Stihl or Husqvarna from a dealer and also the tiny Stihl 150TC. The 460 is an awesome saw, it's just super heavy after two tanks. This isn't a huge deal since it needs a fresh chain or a touch up after two tanks, probably bar and chain oil as well. By this point I'm wore out and call it a day for cutting. It's not wise to cut while tired.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. redmanlcs

    redmanlcs
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 20, 2017
    95
    37
    Loc:
    West Virginia
    From what I have seen, a pickaroon and peavy are almost identical. I don't use either but think they would save my back some un-needed strain. I agree with your view of box store saws, but the 440 is in my price range, is a decent name brand, and is large enough to cut through some 20 in hickory logs, if it had the power to do so. You tube has some vids that I have been checking out. I don't know much about the 460, but its prob more saw that I would ever need. I'm not really sure that I need a bigger saw, but if it would cut down my cutting time, It would help. My husky 240 cuts anything I ask it to, but is a little slow on bigger rounds.
     
  4. Sawset

    Sawset
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 14, 2015
    356
    179
    Loc:
    Palmyra, WI
    Saw of choice here is a pro stihl 50cc. Light weight, good for limbing and bucking. Kind af a goldilocks thing.
    I'm not much on carrying around a whole lot of extra equipment, but two things are a must have for saving my butt. A cant hook (4ft) and fellers wedge. If I leave home without them, invariably I'm back in the truck headed back to get them. Rolling logs over to get at the back side is a chain saver. Slip a wedge in on cuts that can bind the chain bar. They are polyethelene, so won't gar up the chain, and cheap, I think $4 a piece if I remember. I can get out of most situations with those two. Use a small round as a hammer for the wedge. Use the cant hook to up end heavy rounds onto the truck, etc.
    Splitting maul - cheap 8lb maul from farm and fleet has been all I've needed.
     

    Attached Files:

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    TreePointer likes this.
  5. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    I think you mean that a cant hook and a peavey are almost identical. They are both used for turning/rolling logs. A timberjack is simply a cant hook with an attached foot for elevating the log as you turn it.

    Pickaroons (aka hookaroons) are used for moving/lifting/throwing firewood, cut rounds, and smaller logs--not turning them.

    My favorite pickaroon:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00455RAKE/?tag=hearthamazon-20
     
    blacktail and SpaceBus like this.
  6. redmanlcs

    redmanlcs
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 20, 2017
    95
    37
    Loc:
    West Virginia
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    The idea that there are homeowner and dealer versions of the same Husqvarna saw has been floating around forums for years, and my understanding is it's not true. Multiple Husqvarna dealers have told me that most "pro" level equipment (saws and other OPE) is available only at dealers, and the homeowner and midlevel (farm/ranch) equipment that dealers offer is the same as found at BB stores.

    While there may be updates/revisions of a particular saw model over the years, a 2019 build Husqvarna 460 from a BB store is the same saw as a 2019 build Husqvarna 460 form a dealer.

    Also, the listed model number for a BB store saw may be slightly different from the dealer model number, but that has to do with BB store packaging (fancy boxes and included extras including but not limited to a felling wedge, starter 2-cycle oil bottle, case, scrench, tool pouch, etc.) and not the actual saw.
     
    AlbergSteve, kevin j and blacktail like this.
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA

    I totally agree with the 50cc saw for a firewooder. There's a noticeable jump from lower displacement saws running 3/8LP pitch chain to a decent 50cc saw running .325 pitch chain. The next big jump is to a ~60cc saw running 3/8 pitch chain.

    As I've gotten older, my "go to" saw is a Husqvarna 346XP-NE (50cc, 16" bar, .325 pitch, .050 gauge). It's 11 lbs. dry. I do have larger saws, but I only run them if the job calls for it. My back and joints appreciate it.

    As always, the wallet is king. One doesn't have to shell out big bucks for a pro saw to get a very nice saw that gets the job done. On the other hand, money put towards a couple underpowered (for the job) homeowner level saws over a few years arguably would be better spent on a decent midlevel or pro saw of greater displacement.
     
    Alpine1 and Sawset like this.
  9. Sawset

    Sawset
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 14, 2015
    356
    179
    Loc:
    Palmyra, WI
    One thing to look for (I think) on a saw is a smooth clean chip chute area under the bar bolts cover. We had a husqvarna from 1996 ( can't remember the model) that had a real convoluted chip cleaning setup. Pull the cover for the bar, then spend minutes wiping out all the sawdust and chips. Lots of recessed areas to collect junk. The stihl has a nice smooth self cleaning area for chips to bank off of and exit. The cover is metal. Very quick to pull a chain and replace, or for end of day cleaning.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. bholler

    bholler
    Chimney sweep 2.
    NULL
    
    Staff Member

    Jan 14, 2014
    17,830
    4,126
    Loc:
    central pa
    Have you torn down one of each to confirm they are the same? I am not saying you are wrong because I really don't know for these saws. But I know other companies do it with other tools appliances etc. Same appearance and almost the same model number but different parts.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    SpaceBus likes this.
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    I know a Husqvarna dealer very well and asked at two others to confirm. They say they're the same. Not I, but others have have torn them down over the years at ArboristSite to compare. Unless something changed in the past couple years, they're the same.

    If you think about it, logically it would be a parts/distribution nightmare for the EXACTLY the same model number (on the saw, not the packaging) to have different parts. (Owners bring in the saw for servicing--not the packaging.)

    On top of that, I imagine it's a deceptive marketing practice that their lawyers want to avoid.

    * * * *
    Husqvarna will indeed make "deduned" models of the same saw (usually slightly different P&C porting) but they give them different model names. Examples: 365 vs. 372XP, 545 vs. 550XP.

    Husqvarna AB (parent company of Husqvarna, Poulan, and others) also has a history of making the same saw with different brand names. For example, some models of low end Husqvarna branded saws internally are exactly the same as their yellow/green Poulan cousin.
     
    kevin j and blacktail like this.
  12. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,973
    896
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    I wish I had bought a pro 50-ish cc saw than my 460, but now I know.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    TreePointer likes this.
  13. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,973
    896
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine

    Manufacturers absolutely will make different versions of products for different markets. Yeah, it's a headache, but not for those making the money. It's annoying for logistics personnel. Maybe I'm wrong about saws, but that's ok. Even if the saws are the same, the dealer will give better service and actually help you when things go wrong. This is invaluable.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. redmanlcs

    redmanlcs
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 20, 2017
    95
    37
    Loc:
    West Virginia
    I don't know how this turned into a discussion about saws, has anyone ever thought about using a pulley and rope to transport rounds from top of hill to the truck sitting 400 yards away? Currently I'm having to roll them and they are getting fouled up on the thick underbrush....if I could hoist them high in the air, and send them down by cable, that would be sweet. My issue isn't the cutting of wood as I have that covered. It's the transporting and splitting that wears me out. I'll try the cheapest electric splitter as my rounds seldom go more than 12 in dia.....I'll also get me the fifty dollars peavey as suggested above..thanks treepointer. I can't find the 346 model of husky, it must be discontinued. What would be the closest thing to it currently available at husqvarna? I'll add it to my wishlist.
     
  15. Jazzberry

    Jazzberry
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 17, 2014
    593
    314
    Loc:
    Next to Yosemite
    I would look for a used Stihl 026 in good running shape for around 250.00 or so. Used Makita/Dolmar 540 can be had for cheap also for a little more power.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    kevin j likes this.
  16. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    I've concluded that if anyone saws enough, they'll look for some way to improve things. Years ago, I was happy with a Stihl 290 (it was a step up from my brother's Stihl 025 that I'd been borrowing). It was fine when zipping through smaller wood, but it would bog down with its bar buried. It wasn't much of an issue when I had time to finesse through the wood, but things changed when I needed to drop large trees and firewood production increased dramatically. Its weight and bulkiness really got to me when limbing treetops from timber harvests. At the same time, its poor antivibration was starting me down the path to "white finger" issues. That's when I sold it.
     
  17. blacktail

    blacktail
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 18, 2011
    1,282
    662
    Loc:
    Western WA
    My 36" Logrite pickaroon might be the handiest firewood tool I have. It saves a ton of bending over. You can stick it in round or small log, drag them to the truck, then lift them into the bed without bending over once.
    I've been through a few mauls. They all work, but I kept migrating to a lighter one. I really liked the 4.5lb one I had from Lowe's until the fiberglass handle broke at the head. Current splitting tool is a Fiskars splitting axe (also 36") and it works great.
    20190306_020453.jpg
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    TreePointer likes this.
  18. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    The 346XP (3.7 hp) had been Husqvarna's top 50cc saw when it was finally discontinued around 2011/2012. It was replaced with the 550XP as Husqvarna's top 50cc saw and the 545 as less expensive alternative. This year the 550XP Mark II and 545 Mark II hit the dealers as their top 50cc offerings.

    As far as making comparisons, look more toward horsepower ratings, weight, and feel when you actually handle them in person. Money to burn? Look at the Stihl 261 C-M.

    Those are top saws in the 50cc class. Overkill for some people? Sure. One of my neighbors has a Husqvarna 450 and is happy with it.
     
  19. blacktail

    blacktail
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 18, 2011
    1,282
    662
    Loc:
    Western WA
    I sent you a message about my pickaroon.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 18, 2018
    1,973
    896
    Loc:
    Downeast Maine
    It's really the weight for me. That 460 just gets heavy. The saw has tons of power and rips through everything, but it's a real bear moving it around for limbing. The Stihl 150 top carry is a dream though. It weighs an absurd 5 lbs or so.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    TreePointer likes this.
  21. BIGChrisNH

    BIGChrisNH
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 16, 2015
    329
    151
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    I find pickaroons and peavys to be essential, they make the job so much easier. As for saws, if you’re a firewood only guy 50 cc is all you need, can’t make a recommendation on huskys though.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    TreePointer likes this.
  22. ben94122

    ben94122
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 4, 2017
    56
    24
    Loc:
    California
    I have a timberjack and love it--it's nice to get the logs off the ground and makes cutting rounds much easier. As for mauls, I recently upgraded from a box store 8lb to a fiskars isocore 8lb, and there is a HUGE difference. I split almost entirely by hand, and the fiskars busts rounds with fewer hits than my old maul.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. tadmaz

    tadmaz
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 21, 2017
    194
    43
    Loc:
    Erin, WI
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. TreePointer

    TreePointer
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 22, 2010
    3,053
    1,355
    Loc:
    PA
    Pass. It fails with very heavy/large logs.

    The handle is a two-piece steel tube that screws together. It may work for a while, as it did for me, but the handle ripped open where it screws together when I was attempting to turn a heavy oak log.

    Look for a model with a one-piece handle. Wood, aluminum, fiberglass, whatever--anything is better than that two-piece steel handle.
     
  25. tadmaz

    tadmaz
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 21, 2017
    194
    43
    Loc:
    Erin, WI
    Makes sense, thanks!!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page