What would be your choice of "lightweight" rear handle saw?

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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,257
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Mine paid for itself in one year of projects.
What does your drying setup look like for timber that you plan to use for lumber? I would probably end up with mostly oak lumber, and I can just see me putting up a normal-looking shed that looks like Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali collaborated on it by the next year when the oak dries all banana shaped.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
What does your drying setup look like for timber that you plan to use for lumber? I would probably end up with mostly oak lumber, and I can just see me putting up a normal-looking shed that looks like Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali collaborated on it by the next year when the oak dries all banana shaped.
I don't yet have a drying shed. All the lumber I milled last summer was used in raised garden beds and a chicken coop, so I didn't worry about drying it too much. In the future I do plan on building a drying shed, which will really just be a long carport type structure. Some people enclose their drying shed and put in fans or ventilation and make it into a sort of half way kiln. I've seen folks turn shipping containers into solar kilns. There are many ways to do it.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
940
Western Washington
I’ve learned that ratchet straps help a lot. I’ve seen local maple come out really good just simply sticked and strapped under cover ( no walls). Well, at least it looked good, no moisture meter
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,164
Ottawa, ON
My plan is to mill, to start with: 6 or 9 (true) 6x6 or 8x8s, 4 header boards. Set them up and bolt them together. The roof rafters are the ones that might look like banana peals eventually. I was planning to put some plywood underneath the metal sheeting and some cross braces in order to prevent the banana peal look. The wall boards hopefully will not bend too much once nailed/screwed together. It will be a shed after all.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,158
Palmyra, WI
I recently "discovered" a 1998 Husq 55 that was stored away in the shed back home on the parents place. They bought it new at the time, and saw a lot of use cleaning and maintaining the farm woodlots and fence rows. In 2009 I bought my own stihl ms260 pro so I could branch off with my own setup - saw, woodstove, sourcing etc. I remember what a shock it was to step up to the much more functional pro saw. And likewise, last week, there was about the same shock when I opened up the older 55, took the covers off to inspect and clean, refuel etc. It did start and run after several pulls, I would give it that, but the rest, I can see why I was dissatisfied with it. Granted the 55 is a homeowners saw, and it's older, so there are loads of improvements over the years. But still, it's a reminder of why I love the ms260 so. A summary of points that I was reminded of:
1) is the chip evac area smooth and seamless. Are there recesses that can accumulate debris, do chips have a straight line shot out the back, or are they hung up by plastic molding areas that are not seamless and smooth. Where is the clutch. on the 55 it hangs out into the chip area, and is a hangup for chips getting out the back. On the 260, it is embedded into the crankcase, and completely out of the way of chips.
2) Consumable parts access. Can the spark plug be accessed quickly. Same with the air filter. Can the chain and bar be removed fast and efficiently with little residue to clean up, and no parts like the clutch getting in the way to fiddle around with. What about if it's cold out, with gloves on. Are access bolts and screws kid sized, and possibly restrained so they don't fall away when loosened, or are there micro screws that drop in the snow when doing simple maintenance.
3) is it zippy and powerful for it's weight. I've recently looked at bigger saws, like an ms462. Would love to have a ms462. But I just spent last weekend, felling and cutting 3 large oak trees, with nothing more than the 260, and at this point that is now done. And if I had a 462, it would also be sitting on the shelf along with the 260.
I'm very happy with the ms260. It's a fantastic little unit. And currently don't have enough of a need to look elsewhere.
 
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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
379
ohio
I know its on the light side of the power you want, but I have had a ms170 for 13 years now. I cannot imagine life without it and with a 14" bar, it does way more than you would think. It gets started a whole lot more than my larger saw. That being said, I have become intrigued with the electric saws. I wouldn't buy one unless it were a husky or stihl and I would only buy it if there were other options to use the batteries on. Depending on your uses, battery may not be a terrible idea.
 
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Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
430
Helena MT
Likewise on my MS 180 with a 16 in. bar. My 391 hardly ever gets used any more, just when it is absolutely necessary. I am thinking of switching my 391 from 3/8 chain down to .325 like the 180 because the kerf is so much smaller and it needs to remove less wood, thus making it cut faster.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,418
Northern Canada
Just got a like new used Stihl MS150C
It's tiny,can't wait to try it for limbing ,with a long bar and some mods it should be a blast.
Plus i can hang it from the rear view mirror of my wood truck;lol
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
Just got a like new used Stihl MS150C
It's tiny,can't wait to try it for limbing ,with a long bar and some mods it should be a blast.
Plus i can hang it from the rear view mirror of my wood truck;lol
I use mine all the time. Personally I love the tiny 12" micro bar and chain setup. It's a fabulous little saw for limbing spruce and fir trees.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
942
MA
I only have the MS 180 with 16" bar, too. Asked for a light-duty homeowner saw. Great for my use.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,164
Ottawa, ON
I use my “sick” 170 a lot, mainly when I accumulate a bunch of splits that are a tad too long for the firebox. Since I picked up the 262, I stopped using the 170 for limbing, it is simply too slow. It takes me 1/2 the time to limb a tree with the 262.
 

patrickk222

New Member
Mar 28, 2021
15
alderson wv
i know the 2 i have is technically 50.2 cc but i run a husqvarna 450 eii and the 450 rancher i run 20 inch bar and chains and they make pretty light work of what im usually foolin with
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,773
Nova Scotia
I guess lightweight, and big and small means different things to different people. I wouldn't consider a MS 260 family saw as fitting the OPs post. Even tho I think it's one of the best all round saws ever made. I have one, and a 170 and 250. I would likely pick the 250 for what I call lightweight stuff. The 170 is great for even lighter weight stuff. Like, if you have to carry it quite a ways and only cut small stuff. My 260 almost killed me earlier this winter while cleaning out a couple kms of boundary line. Having said all that, if I didn't have any of what I have now and was about to go look for a new lightweight saw, my first look would be at a MS194 C-E.
 
@NoPaint did you forget about this question?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
What does your drying setup look like for timber that you plan to use for lumber? I would probably end up with mostly oak lumber, and I can just see me putting up a normal-looking shed that looks like Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali collaborated on it by the next year when the oak dries all banana shaped.
I'm only sawing softwoods and so far just for a chicken coop and raised beds so I just stacked the lumber as I sawed it and tried to put it together before it dried completely. Ideally you would set the wood up on top of some rails on top of some pallets. Space each board/slab one inch with "stickers" (1x1 sticks usually with a sharp point) and every so many boards, usually, ten use a 2x2 spacer. A carport type setup is ideal for this. I've read that hardwood lumber can take over a year drying in this way. I think most people go 16-24" OC for the stickers and spacers. Eventually I'm going to build a "lumber shed" just for air drying lumber for stuff that I really care about, like a mud room addition for the house, siding, roofing, etc.

Sorry for the month late reply, didn't see your post until today!
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Interesting thread here and in regard I have a question of two on smaller equipment for wood burning...Are there any "small wood splitters" out there for "oldsters" like me to buy? Are there any "small saws lightweight" for weaker people to use?..What's the name of that manual gauge that goes on the stove stack? Whats the name of that temperature gauge that checks for the moisture level of the wood in the middle of the wood after you split it? Just wondering if they have equipment where one does not have to be too strong to use it. I am ordering a 1/4 of a cord of mixed wood pretty soon (seasoned they say) and trying now to get together some equipment that I might have to have and if any equipment for me to handle is out there?.....thanks...clancey
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Now I came across this on net and has anyone ever used one of these things?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
Interesting thread here and in regard I have a question of two on smaller equipment for wood burning...Are there any "small wood splitters" out there for "oldsters" like me to buy? Are there any "small saws lightweight" for weaker people to use?..What's the name of that manual gauge that goes on the stove stack? Whats the name of that temperature gauge that checks for the moisture level of the wood in the middle of the wood after you split it? Just wondering if they have equipment where one does not have to be too strong to use it. I am ordering a 1/4 of a cord of mixed wood pretty soon (seasoned they say) and trying now to get together some equipment that I might have to have and if any equipment for me to handle is out there?.....thanks...clancey
The lightest gas saw on the market is a tossup between the Stihl MS151 T-CE (I have a version of this) and the Echo CS2511T. Both weigh about 5lbs without a bar, chain, and fluids. There are plenty of small electric splitters that would probably do the job for you, most stores like Lowe's will carry them. The tool for measuring moisture is called a hygrometer, but most people call them moisture meters. The stack gauge is just a thermometer, if you have single wall pipe you use a magnetic surface thermometer and a probe thermometer for double wall pipe.

1/4 cord of wood would last you one to two weeks while burning full time.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Thank you Thank you...clancey----I'll take from here and beam me up Scotty....I am going to check those little saws out and when I get time I will have lunch with my girlfriend and we will visit a fireplace business and look around as well..If I am good maybe I will take a few pictures to show you some of the "stuff" that they have---thanks so much--needed those names...
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,257
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Look up corded electric chainsaws too. They are in the same power range as those tiny gas models and are often even lighter. (Battery electric chainsaws are getting better every year too.)

If you can swing a 6# maul, the fiskars x27 is my favorite splitting tool. If not, there's splitters... but if swinging a maul is a problem, wrassling rounds is going to be a bigger problem, and every splitter requires you to get the wood over to it (and often lifted up onto it as well).
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
708
Colorado
Thanks jetsam and I will check all of this and electric would work so much better for me and I think I can swing a number 6 maul and i do have a small short handle ax too that belong to my husband.. Now awhile back there was a piece of equipment that held wood in place and I think Nortcum had it but not sure and I forgot to write it down the name of the thing. Do you have anything like that to suggest? This wood that I will split do you split it one time or put it in 4's thinner for burning? clancey
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
Look up corded electric chainsaws too. They are in the same power range as those tiny gas models and are often even lighter. (Battery electric chainsaws are getting better every year too.)

If you can swing a 6# maul, the fiskars x27 is my favorite splitting tool. If not, there's splitters... but if swinging a maul is a problem, wrassling rounds is going to be a bigger problem, and every splitter requires you to get the wood over to it (and often lifted up onto it as well).
I actually haven't found any electric saws comparable to the two gas saws I listed. The electric saws are usually more powerful, well have more torque, but weigh more. The gas saws also get lighter after use, which is nice.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
737
SE North Carolina
I really think you need to decide gas or electric and not really compare one to the other. I do think the amount of cutting you do probably figures into the gas/electric choice.

My gas choice in 550XP mkii. (545XP I would be fine too)

It’s pricey and I don’t cut enough to justify it. So I have a Ryobi 3716. Cheap decent little saw. I can loan it out and most times will come back with a new chain (we live really close to Home Depot).

if I wanted a battery saw I’d see if I could get one that the batteries worked with other tools that I wanted needed or have . I can’t afford a pro level battery saw. So those aren’t realistic options. As the price of the battery saws comes down I wonder it theis an increase in chainsaw injuries. 2 cycle needs might scare off a shy buyer/user where the battery saw are cool and something to show off.

I’ve stayed away from the top handle saw as I’m not experienced enough to trust my self always use a saw that I could operate single handed.

If I only needed a cord or less a year I don’t think I would be cutting my own. Buy it already split or at least bucked or go with sawdust bricks.
Evan
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,862
Downeast Maine
For the price of a decent chainsaw, fuel, and some splitting tools you could buy at couple of pallets of sawdust bricks and not have to worry about anything other than dry storage.
 
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