Stihl 044 rebuild or replace

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
Well, this past weekend while milling some logs my 044 started losing power and making ratting noise coming from crankcase. I wasn't being to hard on saw, but it finally quit. When pulled over ratting sound and metal noise coming from lower end, piston looks ok through spark plug. I took it to my dealer and they suspect bad main bearings, maybe that's all, hard to tell without tear down. For them to do work I would be looking at at least $400 which includes labor and bearings/ seals. I could do it but won't have time for a while and need the saw. I looked at a 461 which would be nice, but they are about $1100.
My 044 is a pretty low hour saw, but has been used. Not sure what to do?
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
771
Palmyra, WI
I could do it but won't have time for a while and need the saw.
Time for a second saw?
One on the bench, one to use. It's not running now - pull it apart when time permits.
I'm not in the position where I need to cut now, but if I was, a backup would seem necessary. And I couldn't see taking it in if I could do the work myself. It would seem a nice project to work on.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
987
Northern Canada
For milling.... if you do a lot a bigger saw would be the answer.
the 044 is a great saw well worth rebuilding,especially if you do it yourself.
It is actually easy to tell if it needs bearings.Just pull the recoil and grab the flywheel and see if there is and up and down play.You can watch the clutch side for movement as well.
Dibs on the saw if you want to sell it.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
Still up in the air, this post may go sideways since I'm thinking of doing a bit more milling. The logs I was cutting were hickory and a 17inch slabs, really too big for the 044. Logs were about 28 inches in diameter. So a bigger saw might be appropriate. An 088? I likely will not mill hickory again, except for the log and a half I have. For people thinking of mill hickory, that stuff is crazy hard. Had friend come out with woodmizer mill and the log just laughed at saw. Even with new hardwood blade cuts were not flat. On the other the chainsaw with milling chain and Alaskan mill works very well and slabs came out beautify.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
So I guess the question is what is the recommendation for milling saws? I really won't be milling every day, I do like having lumber around to use for work and or personal projects.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
It looks like the 461 and 440 are going away to be replaced by the 462, so that may be a good choice.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
987
Northern Canada
I Myself i would fix the 044 at some time,sell one of your 029's if having a bunch of saws dosn't fit with your situation and buy a 066/660 or a 661 for milling and falling
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
302
SE North Carolina
I’ve been milling some tulip poplar, about 32” was all my 36” bar and milling attachment would fit, with a Holtzforma G660. I’ve got about 3 gallons of gas through it. For the price it’s decent. It the biggest saw that I could afford and so far it’s working well. Going to put a longer bar on And see if I can do a big crotch and the butt log. As I recall shipping was 7-10 days.
 

Attachments

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
Don't know anything about the Holtzforma, but the price is sure good. Stihl dealer is at the end of my road, so local wins here.
Ebs-P what are you going to use the Tulip poplar for? I have a large one I need to remove, I was thinking of milling it for barn siding.
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
302
SE North Carolina
Don't know anything about the Holtzforma, but the price is sure good. Stihl dealer is at the end of my road, so local wins here.
Ebs-P what are you going to use the Tulip poplar for? I have a large one I need to remove, I was thinking of milling it for barn siding.
The tree came down in the hurricane last year. It will be drift woodequesk live edge slab tables and counters. It’s light enough that a big table 10’x4’ by 2.5” table is still movable.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
Wow that is big, I made on this winter for a customer that was 4' x 8' by 2 inches thick out of red cedar and even it was heavy.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
picking up new saw tomorrow!
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
302
SE North Carolina
Wow that is big, I made on this winter for a customer that was 4' x 8' by 2 inches thick out of red cedar and even it was heavy.
If it was live oak I might have to reinforce the floors;) I did just finish a new milling attachment with a 52” bar so I don’t have to cut all the limbs back. It’s more than the saw can pull through but it gives me a 42” wide cut width if I need it.
 

NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
I may not rebuild the 044, the ms661 I just got is so much better. I think it's less than a pound heavier, but has way more power! I milled 13 2 inch thick by 22 inch hickory slabs today in a fraction of the time the 044 would have taken.! A bit pricey but well worth it!
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
987
Northern Canada
Hi NCFord
I am still interested in your old saw if you want to sell it instead of fixing it.
Thanks
 
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NCFord

Member
Jun 5, 2011
203
central NC
Sorry salecker,, just saw this. You can send a PM if you want. I might let it go.
 

heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,575
Kirtland Ohio
I have been running the 066,660's for years. Great saws I haven't ran a 661 but I want to nice purchase. I did have a 880 but with the 660's I sold it to a friend for milling but now he rarely uses it. It is just a big saw unless you are milling big wood or cutting large trees all day it is just not worth having. You can't go wrong with the 661, more than enough power. Got any pics?