Unnecessarily large saw

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moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
We live in Northern CA in the mountains. This year we had a few large trees dropped on our property, largest maybe 28-32 dbh. Current saw is an older 372XP I got used and had a muffler mod done by the local dealer here. Small saw is a 346 that I got after being heavily used but runs strong. With all these logs (ponderosa, sugar pine, and a couple cedars) I got a wild hare that I need a bigger saw for bucking... Which is not likely true but a fiction I may want to believe. After consulting reviews and forums on Dr. Google, I committed to buying a 395XP from my local dealer. I've never run a saw that big and am a little intimidated. Thinking I'll put a 28-32 on it, and It'll be primarily for felling and bucking / ripping large deadfall. Maybe a little milling to justify the purchase.

Curious to hear thoughts on:

1) How much difference will I notice from my 372 to the 395
2) Am I going to regret buying a saw this big? Anyone else running this saw? I could use recommendations for how to get comfortable and be safe with a larger saw.
3) Tips for break in and maintenance - it's my first new saw and I plan to keep it for a while.

It's my graduation gift to myself for a recent degree so I'll keep the 372 and it will probably become my wife's saw; we're fortunate to not be an either/or situation.

Thanks for any input.
 

AndrewU

Member
Dec 1, 2019
113
Sedro-Woolley WA
I have a Stihl MS-461, which is a bit smaller than the one you got. 76 vs 94cc. I’ve mostly been running a 28” bar and it bucks alder, birch and maple really fast. It’s also worked great milling maple logs. Yours will be even faster. I’d definitely recommend getting a couple different bars for the saw, and a few loops for each. Use the shortest bar that you can for what you are doing. Bucking logs anything over the diameter you are cutting can be a detriment as it’s harder to keep the tip out of the ground, or other logs. Plus the shorter the bar the less power you lose to friction.

It’s overkill for what you’re talking about, but that’s ok!
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,013
Western Washington
I ran a 395xp falling timber. Very smooth and well balanced with a 32”. It was my first husky after 15 years of stihls. Might be a little hard for you to start if your not used to bigger saws. There’s a technique where you throw the saw away from you as your pulling the rope that takes some practice but once you get it, it’s easier than holding it on the ground with your foot. The chain tensioner is a better design like the older stihls had when working on very steep ground for changing chains as you can stab the pistol grip down for stability. I ended up using all huskies after the first 395 . No more power than the stihls, just better balance and less vibration. All of the saws I ran were modified by the local saw shops. It will probably give you Popeye arms cutting firewood lol
 

moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
Thanks all, AndrewU and Nealm66 I really appreciate the tips. Multiple reviews seemed consistent with what you say about vibration, I also looked at the 661 Stihl but local dealer doesn't have any and my Husky dealer has been solid on other equipment for me. We definitely have steep ground around here, though I'll want to work up to falling the bigger timber.
 
Just make sure you're using chaps with that monster... ;) help to keep your pants clean of all them wood chips you'll be throwing .. ==c
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,400
Northern NH
My brother has large Husky (I am not sure of the model) which was the biggest one the local logging supply store sold. It has a Husky warning plaque on the case that the saw is not intended for normal cutting operations and is potentially hazardous without specific skills and training. Its bout 10 years old.
 

moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
@qwee - she's from N Idaho and has been doing more firewood prep than me this year, so no concerns there :)

peakbagger - I may try to hook up with a local faller or some of the foresters in the area for a little field time with the saw. I'm comfortable but far from advanced or pro...
 
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moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
Fair point; I'm not 25 anymore. Yeah, not the saw I want to be spending all day with for sure. And honestly, most of what I cut will be smaller - though with the fires we've had in the area there will be chances to get some decent larger stuff for a couple years as well.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,013
Western Washington
You will love the 395. It’s a pro saw and built very well for hard running. Very well balanced. I would have the muffler ported or if you’re handy just do it yourself. It will be more forgiving if you’re chains aren’t perfect. I’d run 404 full skip chisel which will also add some forgiveness. It also does a good job on a chainsaw mill although the coil might give you fits but if you just leave it idling then not an issue. It’s actually pretty efficient on fuel for a big bore IMO compared to like size 660. For falling, the sight lines are slightly off when you flip the motor, not much but noticeable if you’re threading needles. You can tell simply by flipping it and sighting again on an undercut. Can’t remember which side is off but you can make your own permanent marker line on the side that’s off if you’re lazy and don’t want to check your far corner on a back cut.
 
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moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
Awesome info, and I made the switch to pro saws with my 372 and would never go back. Maintenance and quality no comparison.

I'll look up the sighting, but honestly if it's that critical I should be calling someone pro. Watched our local faller drop a codominant pine with a back lean across our property in between the neighbor's fence and garden - like driving a nail. Pretty epic skill. As long as it lands uphill of my trailer and I can buck it I'm happy but I would still like to get better at it.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,054
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I buck rounds with an unnecessarily large dolmar 6400. Same saw is available as 64,73, and 79 cc so the saw is big. I love a big pro saw for the quality and anti vibration upgrades. Big fuel tank. Very adequate oil pump.

No falling for me but I’ve had fir logs delivered that were 41” so it’s nice to be able to use the 28” bar and have power to pull it.

It’s heavy and physically large but it’s pleasant to use a capable saw. Love feeling the push of a flow of huge chips hitting my thigh.
 
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AndrewU

Member
Dec 1, 2019
113
Sedro-Woolley WA
Finally got this pile of logs completely cut for firewood!! After having to use my MS-461 since my Husqvarna 350 but the dust, and I haven’t had a chance to replace it, I have to say that except for the occasional log that was 20-24” inch diameter, or being able to reach across several logs at once, I hated using that saw. It was just so heavy it wore me out more than would be reasonable. Looking forward to getting a more appropriate saw. Likely an MS-261.

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MtSiBK

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
16
North Bend
372 is almost perfect in my eyes. I have a 056 magnum ,044,461 and the 372. 9 out of 10 I bring the 372. Easy on fuel, good balance, and just darn easy to run all day. Congratulations on the new addition and new saws are always fun.
 
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moosetrek

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
575
CA in the Sierras
AndrewU, that's a good pile - hopefully a solid start on next year's supply?

MtSiBK, I enjoy the 372. I have a 24 and a 32, the 32 feels a bit long though it will pull it. What do you run on yours? Around here is pine and fir.
 

AndrewU

Member
Dec 1, 2019
113
Sedro-Woolley WA
AndrewU, that's a good pile - hopefully a solid start on next year's supply?

MtSiBK, I enjoy the 372. I have a 24 and a 32, the 32 feels a bit long though it will pull it. What do you run on yours? Around here is pine and fir.

Hopefully the next 2-3 years supply. For me and a friend.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I buck rounds with an unnecessarily large dolmar 6400. Same saw is available as 64,73, and 79 cc so the saw is big. I love a big pro saw for the quality and anti vibration upgrades. Big fuel tank. Very adequate oil pump.

No falling for me but I’ve had fir logs delivered that were 41” so it’s nice to be able to use the 28” bar and have power to pull it.

It’s heavy and physically large but it’s pleasant to use a capable saw. Love feeling the push of a flow of huge chips hitting my thigh.

Hey, I have the same saw! The Dolmar is my daily driver for everything except limbing (I have a little 30cc Echo for that).

You can drop in 7900 cylinder/piston or get an aftermarket kit to bump a 6400 up to 79cc. There's also a HD air kit for easier breathing.

Apparently at 79cc with the HD air kit and a muffler mod, that little 64cc saw has some go to her.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,848
07462
My middle of the road saws have been the husky 465 and 359, both w/ 20" bars, I find the ease of cutting larger 24"-30" oak good with these 2, they have enough umph to get through the wood and still light enough to reduce fatigue.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,081
Downeast Maine
I use a 395xp for milling, but before the mill got here I used it to fell one tree and free my pinched saw from another. The 395 makes my Husky 460, already a boat anchor, feel like a toy in my hands. The first time I started the saw immediately I thought of how much it sounded like a dirtbike rather than a saw!
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,211
Ottawa, ON
Since I picked up my ms261, I have not touched the 170 nor the 360. If one was to have one saw only 261 would fit the bill best.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,457
Northern Canada
Cutting wood this fall i had a big tree to drop so i took my MS661 out for the first run since i rebuilt it.
My other two saws decided it was a day off for them,the 266 which i was using before selling decides the recoil rope needs replacing when i go to start it,then the small saw a 240 with easy start crapped the bed right after.
So it was the 661 for all duties,falling limbing and bucking. Wasn't too bad but after 4 hours i am sure the extra weight would get to you.
It was fun for bucking,9 tooth rim. full comp chain.muffler mod.Like a light saber through the rounds.