Help me pick a 60cc saw!

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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Hi guys-

I'm tired of slogging through big oak with a small saw, and I'm looking to step up a bit.

I want something that can pull a 24 inch bar through a 48 inch oak in a timely fashion. The saw would probably usually have a 20" bar on it, with the 24" being reserved for bigger-than-usual stuff.

Autotune/M-tronic/whatever is a plus. I own a tachometer and I can tune a chainsaw carb just fine, but I appreciate a fuel efficient saw and also appreciate something that just works without me dinking with it all the time.

A saw that works on normal gas that I can buy at the gas station is a big plus.

Price is also a factor or I'd just go buy the Stihl without asking all these questions. :p

I am looking at the Husqvarna 555, Stihl MS 362 C-M, and Echo CS- 590/600/620 saws. I am open to adding some to the list if you have any suggestions.

I have a few questions that I haven't been able to resolve with Google:

Husqvarna: Their apparent anti-ethanol crusade has me worried.Their product manuals say that you can't use regular 10% ethanol gas in their saws. Is this just some kind of bizarre political thing, or can you really not run gas station gas in these saws?? I am not paying twenty bucks a gallon for magic quarts of chainsaw fuel, or driving to Alaska to buy chainsaw gas. Also, anyone have anything good or bad to say about Autotune?

Husky Part 2:
Why do they list the 460 Rancher (3.62 HP) as being able to run a 24" bar, but the 555 (4.3 HP) has a recommended max of 20"? Is this the marketing department at play, or am I missing something? :)

Stihl: I've done quite a bit of reading and the MS362 C-M is the saw I'd buy if the competition wasn't cheaper. =D This particular saw does have the "M-tronic" carb tuner, but it does not have the "Intellicarb", which is apparently a separate thing. Anyone know the difference between M-tronic and Intellicarb? Thoughts about either one?

Echo: Echo's website is not helping me figure out what's going on with their 60cc saws. Anyone see any significant difference besides price and handle material between the CS-590, CS-600P, and CS-620P? Apparently Echo isn't offering a self-tuning carb on their 60cc saws, but I could possibly live with that given the price differential. I am comfortable that they make good saws, since I already have one. If the 590 is a similar powerhead to the 600, that is an extremely attractive price point.

Thanks for whatever thoughts and experiences you have! :)
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
The reason I believe Husky lists the 555 with a shorter bar range is because of realistic expectations of it's intended users. The Rancher model is marketed to homeowners and sold to homeowners who's expectations of cutting efficiency will be lower or less than what a forester or tree service would expect. I believe they are listing the longer bar to appeal to a wider audience for their homeowner / farm saw.

The 555 is the better saw. Pro construction detuned version of the 562. You can also get them in red with Jonsered 2258 or 2260. If your going to use a 24 inch bar on it once in awhile I would without a doubt go with the 555 over the rancher. It has more power.

As for Ethanol, it's bad all the way around. Props for Husky to actually tell you not to use it. I never run ethanol in my small engines. Again Stihl wants to not turn off potential buyers is my imagination just a guess. I would suggest never to use ethanol.

Can't speak for the Echo as don't know anything about them. The reason why the 555 is cheaper than the 362 is because it's a detuned version of the Husky 562. But all commercial grade construction same cases, same exact saw. The detuned version of the 362 Stihl is not actually detuned at all. It's the ms311 which is a clamshell design saw.

I wouldn't get too caught up in the Sthil name. If you take the saws apart the 555/562 platform it is in my opinion a better designed saw than the Stihl. Outboard clutch, rear slanting cylinder, makes itfeel different ergonomically than the Stihl. It may weigh around the same as the Stihl but it feels like a smaller more compact saw when in use. For that reason I like it better. I've got the 50cc version of that platform in the Jonsered brand. Same theory applies for ergonomics and when I ran it compared to Stihl and Dolmar night and day difference. It feels tiny compared to the others. But same performance. That comparison carries over to the 60cc versions.

I would look at Dolmar 6100. They are made in Germany and the 6100 is an awesome saw. I believe it will cost less than the 555 but it's not a detuned version of a pro 60cc saw as such I'm guessing power will be closer to a Stihl 362 or Husky/Jred 562 and 2260. If you are leaning towards the Husky product, the Jonsered version may save you $50 bucks.

Hope this helps
 
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Giles

Burning Hunk
Nov 25, 2011
108
N.W. Alabama
Hi guys-

I'm tired of slogging through big oak with a small saw, and I'm looking to step up a bit.

I want something that can pull a 24 inch bar through a 48 inch oak in a timely fashion. The saw would probably usually have a 20" bar on it, with the 24" being reserved for bigger-than-usual stuff.

Autotune/M-tronic/whatever is a plus. I own a tachometer and I can tune a chainsaw carb just fine, but I appreciate a fuel efficient saw and also appreciate something that just works without me dinking with it all the time.

A saw that works on normal gas that I can buy at the gas station is a big plus.

Price is also a factor or I'd just go buy the Stihl without asking all these questions. :p

I am looking at the Husqvarna 555, Stihl MS 362 C-M, and Echo CS- 590/600/620 saws. I am open to adding some to the list if you have any suggestions.

I have a few questions that I haven't been able to resolve with Google:

Husqvarna: Their apparent anti-ethanol crusade has me worried.Their product manuals say that you can't use regular 10% ethanol gas in their saws. Is this just some kind of bizarre political thing, or can you really not run gas station gas in these saws?? I am not paying twenty bucks a gallon for magic quarts of chainsaw fuel, or driving to Alaska to buy chainsaw gas. Also, anyone have anything good or bad to say about Autotune?

Husky Part 2:
Why do they list the 460 Rancher (3.62 HP) as being able to run a 24" bar, but the 555 (4.3 HP) has a recommended max of 20"? Is this the marketing department at play, or am I missing something? :)

Stihl: I've done quite a bit of reading and the MS362 C-M is the saw I'd buy if the competition wasn't cheaper. =D This particular saw does have the "M-tronic" carb tuner, but it does not have the "Intellicarb", which is apparently a separate thing. Anyone know the difference between M-tronic and Intellicarb? Thoughts about either one?

Echo: Echo's website is not helping me figure out what's going on with their 60cc saws. Anyone see any significant difference besides price and handle material between the CS-590, CS-600P, and CS-620P? Apparently Echo isn't offering a self-tuning carb on their 60cc saws, but I could possibly live with that given the price differential. I am comfortable that they make good saws, since I already have one. If the 590 is a similar powerhead to the 600, that is an extremely attractive price point.

Thanks for whatever thoughts and experiences you have! :)
I think any of these will be fine. However, don't let the so called warranty of any have much influence on your decision. Warranties are written to protect maker, not you! Read it--MANY ways they will deny coverage.
I have an Echo CS590 and it is basically the same as CS600 with plastic handle, plastic sprocket cover, lower grade bar, and a spur sprocket. I have never worked on either of the other saws.
If I bought a new chainsaw, I would run about three or four tanks and hope it doesn't give a problem. I would then modify the muffler and carb. but this would void any warranty. After modifying, tune it for Non ethanol Premium gas with 40-1 mix.
My favorite, go to of all saws is a Dolmar/Makita. But I do all my own work and dealer network is nowhere as good as other brands.
 

FTG-05

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2014
410
TN
I went Stihl when I bought my MS 362 CM just over two years ago because the Stihl dealer was local, responsive and provided good service. Now that I've had it for over two years (and will be using it today), I have nothing but praise for it.

I started running it on a 20" bar but when I needed to cut down a bigger tree, I put the 25" back on it that it came with. Now I prefer the 25" bar and it's been on there for about a year now.

I have a Husky 350 I have to take in for service and have never owned a pro Husky nor Dolmar etc. so don't have anything to say concerning them.

Good luck!
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
The reason I believe Husky lists the 555 with a shorter bar range is because of realistic expectations of it's intended users. The Rancher model is marketed to homeowners and sold to homeowners who's expectations of cutting efficiency will be lower or less than what a forester or tree service would expect. I believe they are listing the longer bar to appeal to a wider audience for their homeowner / farm saw.

The 555 is the better saw. Pro construction detuned version of the 562. You can also get them in red with Jonsered 2258 or 2260. If your going to use a 24 inch bar on it once in awhile I would without a doubt go with the 555 over the rancher. It has more power.

As for Ethanol, it's bad all the way around. Props for Husky to actually tell you not to use it. I never run ethanol in my small engines. Again Stihl wants to not turn off potential buyers is my imagination just a guess. I would suggest never to use ethanol.

Can't speak for the Echo as don't know anything about them. The reason why the 555 is cheaper than the 362 is because it's a detuned version of the Husky 562. But all commercial grade construction same cases, same exact saw. The detuned version of the 362 Stihl is not actually detuned at all. It's the ms311 which is a clamshell design saw.

I wouldn't get too caught up in the Sthil name. If you take the saws apart the 555/562 platform it is in my opinion a better designed saw than the Stihl. Outboard clutch, rear slanting cylinder, makes itfeel different ergonomically than the Stihl. It may weigh around the same as the Stihl but it feels like a smaller more compact saw when in use. For that reason I like it better. I've got the 50cc version of that platform in the Jonsered brand. Same theory applies for ergonomics and when I ran it compared to Stihl and Dolmar night and day difference. It feels tiny compared to the others. But same performance. That comparison carries over to the 60cc versions.

I would look at Dolmar 6100. They are made in Germany and the 6100 is an awesome saw. I believe it will cost less than the 555 but it's not a detuned version of a pro 60cc saw as such I'm guessing power will be closer to a Stihl 362 or Husky/Jred 562 and 2260. If you are leaning towards the Husky product, the Jonsered version may save you $50 bucks.

Hope this helps

Thanks for all the info!

I do not think using ethanol free gas is a practical option for me. I don't think I have seen it at the gas pump for 10 years, and I am not willing to pay $20 a gallon for premixed chainsaw gas. The closest place that I can google it is hours away. I have read that some people use avgas from the airport, which I guess might be an option. Also read that some people get the ethanol out by mixing the gas with water, and siphoning the gas back out, which sounds like a dubious method to me. I believe whatever I buy is going to have to just live with 10% ethanol. Do Husqvarna machines actually tolerate ethanol worse than other brands?

I will definitely look at Dolmar and Jonesered.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I think any of these will be fine. However, don't let the so called warranty of any have much influence on your decision. Warranties are written to protect maker, not you! Read it--MANY ways they will deny coverage.
I have an Echo CS590 and it is basically the same as CS600 with plastic handle, plastic sprocket cover, lower grade bar, and a spur sprocket. I have never worked on either of the other saws.
If I bought a new chainsaw, I would run about three or four tanks and hope it doesn't give a problem. I would then modify the muffler and carb. but this would void any warranty. After modifying, tune it for Non ethanol Premium gas with 40-1 mix.
My favorite, go to of all saws is a Dolmar/Makita. But I do all my own work and dealer network is nowhere as good as other brands.

Thanks!

The first thing I do after break-in is void the warranty in a couple ways anyway, so not even considering that as a factor.
 

Giles

Burning Hunk
Nov 25, 2011
108
N.W. Alabama
Thanks!

The first thing I do after break-in is void the warranty in a couple ways anyway, so not even considering that as a factor.
All new saws are designed to run with ethanol gas. It is especially a problem with older equipment that is not designed to run it. It virtually melts/softens rubber parts over time.
One of the greatest problems with ethanol, is that it absorbs moisture and this can be addressed by dumping the gas and running the saw dry or keep the tank full--less room for moisture laden air.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,366
Long Island NY
From the bang for buck point of view the Echo is hard to beat. I have read they are a bit more torqy, not so much a screamer but it's still a firewood saw so I doubt another couple seconds in a big cut would matter much. My own experience w/ Echo products has been positive.

If used is on the table then that opens things up a bit.
 
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woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
Couple follow up thoughts to some responses that may help you decide.

As for tuning, especially if you do a muffler mid , the Husky 555 and Stihl362 are auto tuned so nothing to adjust. The saw should respond to any mods by adjusting itself for optimum fuel/air ratios etc.

Mixing 40-1 is never a bad idea regardless. They used to call for 32-1 but the manufacturers have increased that to 50-1 I guess because of advances in oil. I run all my saws at 45 to 1

As for the quality in regards to Stihl. The bigger saws are still made in Germany and I know tree companies that use them with very little problems. The smaller homeowner and farm saws are made elsewhere and I've read they have more quality issues.

Just think the average homeowner who buys a ms250 or 290 etc and may run it 10 to 20 times a year. I'm assuming Stihl takes this into consideration when they account for cost in the build and sale process of those saws. I'm sure they cut a few corner here and there knowing the saws average use based on the average amount of use.

Same with Husky. The ranchers are good saws but I'm sure have more minor issues than the pro versions. I run my jonsered 2252 probably total 20 hours a week. Every week. I easily burn 5 gallons of premix every week. For me I feel that much uses warrants the pro saw and I haven't had a single problem with it. I'm not saying a rancher wouldn't do the same, but for me it wasn't worth the risk.

For the OP based on the saws you listed it's hard to beat the 555. Or the Dolmar 6100. Go hold them, run them if you can. I'm betting you can get a 555 or 6100 for $200 less than the 362. They are all apples to apples comparisons and that extra $200 buys bars, chains, etc. The 555 does have a little less power but I'd be hard pressed to say it would be noticeable, but that extra $200 in your wallet sure is nice.
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
All new saws are designed to run with ethanol gas. It is especially a problem with older equipment that is not designed to run it. It virtually melts/softens rubber parts over time.
One of the greatest problems with ethanol, is that it absorbs moisture and this can be addressed by dumping the gas and running the saw dry or keep the tank full--less room for moisture laden air.

Yes because they have too given our fuel options. If a company said no ethanol ever , that would hurt them in sales. There are parts of the country where ethanol is the only option.

But they sure would prefer you run no ethanol. Cuts down on aggravated upset users who don't dump the old gas and then they bring the saw in for repair, yelling and complaining about it online, etc etc it just is bad.

I totally agree with you on the moisture issue. If I had no choice I would run ethanol. But I would dump it when I'm done. Thankfully there's plenty of non ethanol here . But the average joe doesn't always care. The guy who buys a nice stihl or echo string trimmer to use 4 times a year, uses ethanol, doesn't dump the gas out, and then gets mad that the trimmer doesn't run next season. Then tells everyone that it's junk.
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
[QUOTE="jetsam, post: 2063219, member:

I do not think using ethanol free gas is a practical option for me. I believe whatever I buy is going to have to just live with 10% ethanol. Do Husqvarna machines actually tolerate ethanol worse than other brands?

I will definitely look at Dolmar and Jonesered.[/QUOTE]

No all the brands will run fine on 10percent ethanol if you have no option. I don't use ethanol because our high test is alway free from it at most all of the gas stations. Just don't keep the gas along for very long, just try to mix what you need for the day or for the week.

I just saw your question specific about Huskys auto tune. My jonsered is an auto tune saw ( husky auto tune ) It works great. No issues. Needs a minute or two at cold start to adjust itself then wham it's running perfect.

If you have a Jonsered dealer nearby like I said I think theirs is $50 cheaper roughly. Husky 555 = Jonsered 2258 same saw
 
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CTYank

Minister of Fire
Sep 28, 2010
1,031
SW CT
Here's another vote for Dolmar 6100, a real smooth screamer. I ran an impromptu, informal side-by-side with a stihl 362 I'd worked on the b&c. Just for kicks. I adjusted the stihl's carb first. The Dolly really surprised me, it was SO much faster than the stihl.
Mind you, this was a plain MS-362, adjustable carb, no "C" or "CM" and it seemed to be in full health, just a dog compared to the Dolly. Both were fully broken-in and fed fresh mix.
Forget trying to adjust the carb on any saw by a tach. I've not seen anyone get close with that- generally way off rich. Go by 2/4-stroking.
 

Hickorynut

Feeling the Heat
Jan 10, 2012
344
western ky.
I am not going to discourage any of the other saws but I bought a echo 600cs-p and have had nothing but great luck with it. I use the 20" bar as the norm but have put the 24 inch bar on to cut a 30plus inch black oak and it did a good job on that also.
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
The Dolly really surprised me, it was SO much faster than the stihl.
Mind you, this was a plain MS-362, adjustable carb, no "C" or "CM" and it seemed to be in full health, just a dog compared to the Dolly. Both were fully broken-in and fed fresh mix.

That's surprising the saws should be fairly close in performance when all the other things are equal ( state of tune, bar length, condition of chain, etc )

Either way the Dolmar 6100 is a real quality german made saw. To the OP if you haven't checked them out go handle one. Pictures do them no justice. Every much as well built as the others in design and quality of materials. Built to work hard all day and last a long time. It is a pro grade saw.

Only negative with the Dolmar is I don't believe it's available in auto tune.

But it's probably $200 cheaper than the others. My guess is pricing is inline with the echo.
 

CentralVAWoodHeat

Minister of Fire
Nov 7, 2015
667
Virginia
Find a power saw dealer you like in your area and go chat with them. Modern saws are modern saws. Yes, each has its quirks and little pros/cons. What will really separate them is the support you get from your dealer.

I love Husqvarna saws. However, if there was no good Husqvarna dealer within 50 miles of me, I would likely own Stihl equipment instead. Go with the dealer, not the brand as they will be the ones backing you on all your service and warranty work.

You know what saw is best? One that you can keep running.
 

heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,866
Kirtland Ohio
All the choices are good. Look at price, location of dealer, and kinda comes down to what you want. If taken care of and maintained properly any of those would be a great choice. Everyone here has one of those saws and has great responses to say why they like it. I run stihl, but that doesn't make it a better saw just what I use. I have a good friend who runs husky and he loves it. Check them all out and get what you like. Then take some pics so we can see your new toy!
 
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mstoelton

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
486
SE michigan
If you don't mind a used saw and are OK with saving a few hundred dollars you might want to contact your local Home Depot's and see if they might have a rental saw they are selling. They rent out Makita 64XX (This is a Dolmar saw in Makita colors) Makita owns Dolmar and these are really strong running saws. I have two that I found this way. They come with a 20" bar. I was cutting some Big Oak last weekend with one and I am amazed at how fast they cut through the big stuff.

HD usually sells these after 2 years of use, and they can tell you how much it has been used. They generally sell for ~$300.

After a few years if the saw gets tired and the powerhead needs replacement, aftermarket 79-84 cc powerheads will fit on the same saw chassis. These powerhead replacements will cost you ~$150 - $200

So for < $500 you can have a 80cc class Dolmar if you want to upsize the saw. Most of the saws I have seen at HD are in really good shape and won't need any upgrade for a while.

Just my $0.02
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Thanks so much to everyone for their posts! I'm down to 1 saw per manufacturer, plus the option of scrounging something used.

I also considered Jonesred as a cheaper Husky alternative, but the saw that should have been on this list (the 2258) was $10 more than the Husky 555 and didn't have a self-tuning carb, plus 0.1 HP less- so it got disqualified.

Prices listed are what I can find the saws for new. For Echo and Stihl, that's MSRP; Dolmar and Husky seem to be a little more variable.

Echo CS-590 $399, 3.9 HP. No Autotune. Wow to the price point. Least powerful saw of the bunch. I know I like their saws.
Dolmar 6100. $530, 4.5 HP. No Autotune. This saw makes it harder to pick the Husky. More power, no Autotune, similar price. Hmm.
Husky 555. $570, 4.3 HP. Autotune. Lowest price saw with Autotune. Extremely well reviewed as a good saw.
Stihl MS362 C-M. $740, 4.7 HP. Autotune. Unfortunately, price is a problem for this saw.

I place zero value on dealer support and warranties, never having had a good experience with that kind of thing.

Right now I think I am leaning towards either the Echo or the Husky. Is a 10% horsepower boost and Autotune worth $170 to me? Pondering!

I wish I could run everything on the list through a big oak tree- how well I know that horsepower numbers released by a company's marketing department don't equate to torque where the rubber meets the road (or where the cutters meet the knotwood).

I'm also going to look around a little for used saws and see if any deals pop up.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,366
Long Island NY
Echo CS-590 $399, 3.9 HP. No Autotune. Wow to the price point. Least powerful saw of the bunch. I know I like their saws.
A poster on another site said the saw responded very well to a muffler mod.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,337
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
A poster on another site said the saw responded very well to a muffler mod.

I can believe that because I have a 30cc Echo that responded very well to a muffler mod, after a little screw twiddling.

Echo adds extra dealies called "limiter caps" to deter you from getting to the carb adjustment screws, which is puzzling, and annoying the first time you encounter them.

That little bitty saw has been through cords of pine and oak with a 20" semichisel blade and a modded muffler, though you do need some patience to cut big oak with it. :p
 

woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
I also considered Jonesred as a cheaper Husky alternative, but the saw that should have been on this list (the 2258) was $10 more than the Husky 555 and didn't have a self-tuning carb, plus 0.1 HP less

I guess prices vary by dealer. In my experience shopping they were usually a few bucks less.

Anyways the 2258 is auto tuned 100 percent positive on that. Must have been printed wrong. Where did you read that ? It's a red 555. The .1 difference in power is marketing or something to differentiate them more. The saws have identical cases , top ends, auto tune system, etc.

For that matter I wouldn't place much value on the exact power rating of any saw brand. The companies probably over estimate those numbers anyways. They are all going to be strong performers. In my opinion go with dealer support if you need it, if not then 2nd on the list when I buy a saw is how they feel in my hand.

The last thought I have regarding the Dolmar and the Husky 555. Night and day difference in how they feel. Yes the 555 is slightly lower on power. If you want it to match the Stihls power you need the Husky 562 or Jonsered 2260 version. But then your over $700. So the detuned versions (555/2258) get you in the mid $500 range. The small power difference is minimal, I doubt you will notice it much at all. You would have to run them side by side. And then it would be minimal anyways. What you will notice however is how much smaller the 555 feels than the Dolmar ( in my opinion ) I still like the Dolmar a lot but if it's only a $50 difference I personally would give up the tiny power difference for the more modern feel of the Husky. They have such small cases because the clutch is outboard so the saw is very slim. I'm only talking about the 555/562 and jonsered 2258/2260 chassis ( and the 50 cc versions ) the homeowner / farm saws in the 50cc /60cc class by Husky I have no experience so can't say how those feel
 
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black_sab

Member
May 20, 2015
64
massachusetts
Are you opposed to buying used?

I thought about a Husky rancher 455/460 for around $450 - 500 new, but ultimately decided to roll the dice on a used saw and found an almost new 372xp for $650 on CL that came with almost unblemished 20" and 32" bars w/chains. I figure the 32" bar and chain was an easy $100 on ebay if I wanted to dump it, but decided to keep it. Glad I kept the 32"... helped me zip through the last few inches of a 36" oak that I was having trouble with due to the log laying awkwardly near another log.

Home Depot rents out the Makita 64xx/Dolmar. Had I not found a saw on CL I was going to rent the Makita for 4 hours and put it through its paces to see if a 64cc saw was what I wanted/needed. Plus the easy upgrade to big bore kit was intriguing. Seems hard to beat for $590 bucks online.
 
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woodhog73

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2016
780
Somewhere cold !
Home Depot rents out the Makita 64xx/Dolmar. Had I not found a saw on CL I was going to rent the Makita for 4 hours and put it through its paces to see if a 64cc saw was what I wanted/needed. Plus the easy upgrade to big bore kit was intriguing. Seems hard to beat for $590 bucks online.

I have read that you can buy the rentals from time to time when the store is getting new rentals but I have no idea how much.
 
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