400$ is that middle ground. You can’t get a new pro saw of any size and This is what I have. I rolled the dice and won. It can pull 36” through almost anything if the chain is good. It’s heavy, stupid heavy. But 92cc for cheap. Guzzles gas. When’s through a gallon milling slabs last weekend. I want to get a lightweight bar.Thanks for all of the feedback. The pile of logs I'm working on currently are averaging around 18" diameter. I few are smaller, and one big beautiful oak log is about 24". I bucked up about 4 logs yesterday with the MS180. It did alright. I went through about 4 tanks of gas, refilling the chain oil each time I refilled gas. It did a good job. It started to struggle on a big chunk of cherry, but by that time the chain also needed to be sharpened again. The 180 gets it done, and I'm glad to have it but it would be mighty nice to cut larger logs with a single pass.
There is an MS361 on the local CL at a very good price but its been up for a week, so I suspect its gone. Seller hasn't replied to me. Otherwise I'm keeping a lookout for a used MS261 or 026 at a good price. I'm not looking to go crazy overkill here. Something that can run a 20" bar confidently is enough. I'm trying to stay around $400 if I can.
If I only had 400$ to spend and I needed to cut bigger logs it’s a tough choice. Echo 60cc is probably where I would lean. If I thought I’d regularly get 24”+ I might consider a Chinese 660. When they work they are awesome. (If you don’t mind the weight).
MS261 would be a splurge for me, but the best bet.