Your choice for limbing saw? (vote for up to 2)

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Given a choice of the follow saws (under $200) which one would you buy?


  • Total voters
    22

PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
312
Blair County, PA
I just bought a Jonsered CS2238 from Tractor Supply. After reading reviews about carb problems, I decided to take gas/oil and bar/chain oil to make sure that the saw worked right before bringing it home. I'm glad I did. The saw would start but not run. I returned it and went home with a refund.

I want a small saw (under $200) for limbing and do not want to take my chances on another 2238. The store had the Husquvarna 240 in stock but I did not feel like buying another saw that is essentially the same as the one that wouldn't run.

Can I find a dependable saw for under $200? What would you buy?

Thank you!
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
686
West Michigan
For the money, I like the echo cs-310. Light and cheap, but pretty well built and reliable. I'd look at one of those also.
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
1,146
bc
i have a stihl 170 that sits on the front of my ATV. Its constantly abused by mud, dust, rain you name it and it always starts by the second pull every time. Been a great saw had a poolan before and it was usually a dozen pulls every time to get it started with the same abuse and only lasted 2 years before it was garbage
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
484
Erin, WI
Saw that the Husqvarna 240 was mentioned. It's my primary saw, 16" bar. I've tackled some big white oak and an 18" red oak, it can do it, just not lightning fast. No secondary saw yet, but this 240 will become it eventually. Air filter can get clogged easily. Out of the box the oiling gear was stripped and no oil was coming out. Chain brake is broken. Starting cord pulled out once, getting that back together was difficult. Drilling a hole in the muffler helped performance.

Look at a Poulan 3816, has an identical muffler to the 240, same engine CC, HMMM.... The newer 240's look a little different, mine looks identical to a 3816 in every way. Amazon even lists the manufacturer for the 240 has "Manufacturer: Husqvarna/Poulan/Weed Eater." Would only go with Echo or Stihl going forward, primary or secondary saw.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
1 vote for the Stihl 170.

Had this one for about 6 years now and it sat for one year while I was pissed about owning it. It ran fine for a couple weeks when new and then couldn't get out of its own way. Started using it again and was about to toss it but decided to gut the muffler and hope for improvement. Well I left the muffler as was but pulled out the spark screen, it was clogged solid and is way too fine a mesh to be in that place. You could see where the exhaust was forced out between the jug and muffler.

Since loosing the screen it has been through several dozen tanks of fuel and runs just fine. Heck it even felled a few 12 inchers but mostly is used for limbing out the tops after the fall. It rocks a 16" bar
 
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PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
312
Blair County, PA
On Saturday, I went to a local saw shop who had the CS2238 in stock as well as the Tanaka TCS33EB. When I learned that Tanaka offers a 7 year warranty to consumers, I asked the dealer about both saws. In so many words, he expressed a lack of confidence in Jonsered. He said that he sells more Tanakas.

The online listing and brochure for Tanaka list that the saw comes with both a 14" and 16" bar. The local shop only had the 16". I bought the Tanaka and had them swap out the 16" bar for a 14". I was also please to see that he set the saw up with an Oregon chain that is not low kickback. I had already bought an Oregon 91 VXL 052G from Amazon.

I'll post a picture after I actually cut some wood with it. I got rained out on Saturday.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
686
West Michigan
On Saturday, I went to a local saw shop who had the CS2238 in stock as well as the Tanaka TCS33EB. When I learned that Tanaka offers a 7 year warranty to consumers, I asked the dealer about both saws. In so many words, he expressed a lack of confidence in Jonsered. He said that he sells more Tanakas.

The online listing and brochure for Tanaka list that the saw comes with both a 14" and 16" bar. The local shop only had the 16". I bought the Tanaka and had them swap out the 16" bar for a 14". I was also please to see that he set the saw up with an Oregon chain that is not low kickback. I had already bought an Oregon 91 VXL 052G from Amazon.

I'll post a picture after I actually cut some wood with it. I got rained out on Saturday.

I have had 2 of the Tanaka TCS33EB's I gave my father one, and he loves it. I have one that's labelled as a Hitachi. Nice little saws, extremely lightweight. I have read that they are the lightest saw in the class, and I can believe it.

Great little limbing saw and we haven't had any problems with them.
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
i have a stihl 170 that sits on the front of my ATV. Its constantly abused by mud, dust, rain you name it and it always starts by the second pull every time. Been a great saw had a poolan before and it was usually a dozen pulls every time to get it started with the same abuse and only lasted 2 years before it was garbage
My poulan is garbage. I think I will sell it on craigslist and put that money towards and echo.
 

jwfirebird

Feeling the Heat
Sep 18, 2017
310
western ny
yep I wasted my money on one of those too, I really just use my sawsall for limbs and small brush type trees, trimming quad trails stuff like that. the batteries they have these days are incredible
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
My small saw is an Echo cs-310. It has been awesome. I put an 18" bar on it for reach and opened up the muffler. It can even chew through oak (slowly) with the bar buried if the big saw is down.
 

PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
312
Blair County, PA
After running two tanks of gas through my Jonsered to work on some trunks, I switched to my new Tanaka TCS33EB to remove some limbs, cut down some brush, and to cut up the small stuff. The 8 lb. saw felt like a toy but it cut well. It was much easier on my back since I was already tired. So far, so good. I hope that it holds up over the years.

I swapped the 16" bar for a 14". The shop only had the black red max bar. I like the black bar
. IMG_20180303_134420476.jpg IMG_20180303_112441903.jpg
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
686
West Michigan
That Tanaka is the lightest gas powered saw I've ever used. Keep an eye on your bar nuts/chain tightness, other than that, we've had no problems with those saws at all.
 
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Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,282
Northern IL
Call me crazy, but I like my 25” bar for limbing. Much less bending.

For the record - I did not vote. Didn’t see an option for an MS361 and 25” bar.;lol!!!
 
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cjgoode

Member
Aug 30, 2016
93
Sylva Nc
Took me years to realize what a stihl is really worth, now that I am in my 50's its stihl or nothing from here on out. My stihl equipment seems to run foreever and all the other stuff eventually starts having problems and is a pain to use.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,728
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I use a little Homelite LX30 Bandit for limbing. Looks just like the one in the video below. It's a one handed chainsaw and works great for limbing.

 

JimBear

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2017
666
Iowa
I was using my 011 with 16” bar for limbing, pruning & cleaning out fencelines but after the case gasket started leaking I decided the problem child was getting parted out or a school shop project for my nephews. I just bought a 021 with hard case, 4 chains, wrenches, file & extra air filter, has a 14” bar which is what works best for me. $200. Looks to be in very good condition, No I didn’t have it compression tested. It seems to run well @ idle & under load.
 

Exmasonite

Feeling the Heat
Oct 3, 2010
321
Novi, MI
I picked the "other"....

I use my 260 Pro for most things but on occasion when I want to give her a break, I use an Echo Cs400 that I got for $125 from home depot return bin. 16" bar and it's great.

Inherited an old Mccoullough Eager Beaver which usually takes 20 pulls to fire up but will occasionally use if I am up a tree/ladder or for very light work:
 

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