Husky 350 compression getting low

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Burning Hunk
Dec 1, 2019
Sedro-Woolley WA
My dad gave me his Husqvarna 350 chainsaw about 10 years ago. Not sure how old it was by then, but I know he can’t have put very many hours on it. I think my mom was just glad to not have him tempted to use it anymore when he gave it to me. Paid for it by doing a bunch of work on trees around their property a couple years later.

Anyway, no idea how many trees I’ve cut down, brushed out, and bucked for firewood with it since I got it, but for a guy in 5 acres it sure seems like a lot. Took it to the local shop today as it wasn’t making power last time I fired it up. Got a massive stack of logs to buck up, so really need it running well, and no time to mess with it. Guy held it by the starter cord and bounced it a bit. Said it might be getting close to the low end of acceptable compression.

Question is, if they say it would really need a ring job (or other similarly costly rebuilding work), at what point does it make more sense to replace it rather than fix it up? I quite like that saw, especially for limbing, or bucking smaller (<16” dia) logs. I like the overall size and weight as it’s powerful enough for quickly cutting through even large limbs but without fatiguing me to quickly. Currently it wears a 20” bar, but when it needs replacing (assuming the whole saw doesn’t too) I was intending to get a 16” or 18” bar so it would be even more maneuverable and will cut even faster. For bigger jobs I have a fairly new Stihl MS-461 (with 28” and 36” bars).

If I decide to replace what is a good comparable replacement saw? For my area, Stihl is far better supported than Husqvarna. And I generally avoid the big-box store brands like Homelight and Echo. It’s really hard to find shops locally willing to work on them, and often I don’t have a ton of time to screw with them.

In addition to the above considerations I want to start my 14 year old boy on learning how to run a chainsaw. So something he can safely wield is important too. He’s very scrawny (as was I at that age) so a lighter weight saw will help a lot with not wearing him out too fast. It’s when you get tired that accidents often happen. Mind you, we’ll get all the safety gear for him too, like clogger pants or chaps, helmet with face shield and ear muffs, etc.

If replacement is called for I’ll probably keep the Husky and order the parts to rebuild it, and make that a job for the boy to do (with my help, to the extent I’m available). If he succeeds the saw is his to keep.
Buy a ring and put it in yourself.pretty easy job no special tools required.
Buy the ring from Husky or Caber.
If you want to be sure buy a base gasket as well,most times they will be ok to reuse with some sealer,not silicon.
Dang good saws. I love the 350. I have built a few and built one for myself last year with "the works". It cuts!
Fix it.
Crank bearings are trashed. It’ll be a project for my older boy. I’m looking for a good deal on a Stihl MS-261. Nothing against Husky, but it’s not well supported here. Stihl is.
Great idea with your son. He will learn a lot, basic engine repair. So easy to do these days. You Tube videos and parts online. Let him do it all.

I did the same with my grandson. He worked with me learning how to drop dead trees, bucking and splitting. At a garage sale he bought a polan for $15. He put a new carb on it and made it run. All this is nothing his father would do.
I need to see if madsens has any 261’s yet. Said they were out. Of all the models right now between husky and stihl, if I was trying to pick a perfect smaller than 461 but still big enough to be worth pulling out, I’d recommend a husky 562 over the 261 for firewooding even if you don’t feel there support in your area. Most of the stihl saw shops that sell huskies might try to push the stihl brand but they still service the huskies and there’s likely no need for that model anyways. I just sold mine to my nephew the brick layer destroyer of anything that has a motor and it still lives after a year. I just needed a smaller model for tree work and the smaller huskies have changed they’re bar stud size