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  • Chain Saw Recomendation.

    Hey guys, looking for some input on Chain Saws. I really dont want to buy used, as who knows how it was taken care of, let alone the amount abuse one can inflict on a chain saw. I cant go out and buy a really expensive one either, but I definately dont want to buy a piece of crap. I have used Stihl, Jonsered, Poulan, McCulloch, Homelite, and Crapsmen . My dad had a used Stihl, and it had problems all the time, but one I just used a few weeks ago was damn nice, and ran very well. The jonsered I used was just flat out a tank, heavy as one, but it was strong and seemed indestructable. My dad as well has a Poulan, and its ok, but the blade adjustment sucks on it, and I used a small 16" one a few weeks ago as well, and it preformed surprisingly well. The Mcculloch and Homelite ones I had experiance with was many years ago, and the Homelite was kind of a pile of crap, and the Mcculloch was heavy and clunky. Lastly, the Crapsman, well, it earned its name, less than a year old, only used a few times, and couldnt make it through an entire tank of fuel before the clutch assembly would over heat. Had to let it cool down before you could use it.


    So, what I am looking for is something to trim up tree around the place, but also something that I can hike out into the woods behind the house and fall dead trees when needed (got literally hundreds of dead elms that need to be cleared out). I dont need anything larger than a 20" blade, as that is overkill. I have heard good things about the Husqvarna saws, but they tend to be pretty expensive. I really like Stihls blade adjustment system, but curious as to anyone that has used them alot as to how it hold up over time. Flat out, this is the one and only Chainsaw I want to buy for many many years. Honestly, I dont cut that much wood, but I am sick of borrowing tools from people, as my luck, if I own it, its fine, if I borrow it, it breaks. With the amount of use I plan on giving the saw, it should last me damn near my life time if I take care of it, so, what would you in the know recommend?

    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

    My brother has a Stihl and he loves it, has had no problems. But in my area I can't stand the guys who sell Stihl, so I bought a Husqvarna from a local guy that I bought a tiller and pro-grade mower from. Whatever type of chainsaw you buy, buy it from a local service shop, not a big box store. They'll be able to service it and give you a lot better insight then someone at a big box store. My guy's shop is almost in the woods. Buy something to cut wood from a guy in the woods....heh, heh

    Then get yourself a nice synthetic oil for mixing with your premium gas, and a nice semi-synthetic chain oil for the chain. Buy one level up from what you think you might need. I bought the small Husky, but I should have gone up a level or two. Granted I took down 40 trees with it one weekend, but extra power is good to have and saves you time.
    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

      I bought a stihl ms310 about 3 years ago and it is the best saw ive ever used. I just cant wear it out. It came with an 18in bar but put a 20 on it and use it all the time with no problems starts easy and runs strong.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

        The more i look, the more I am leaning toward the Stihl MS280C-BQ Model
        http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS280CBQ.html
        The one I used a few weeks ago I believe was the 270 model, but why not a little bigger right? But the quick chain adjustment is hands down awesome.


        Big box stores dont sell Stihl except Gander Mountian around here, and they have a shop right there in the place.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

          This is my kind of Thread! I've been using chainsaws for over thrity years and they are my favorite tool. I own big heavy Homelites but I would not recommend Homelite, or Sears. Poulan is a light weight good for occassional moderate use. My ultimate chainsaw would be a Stihl although Husquavarna is also very tough. I hate primer bulbs and cheap plastic chokes! Stihl has a lousy warranty for such an expensive and highly rated product. I would however make a few suggestions, buy the most chainsaw you can afford. Even the largest displacement Stihls are very light. Go for a 18" bar and blade combo because spare bars and chains will be cheaper and you can cut a very big diameter anyway. Use "Amsoil" synthetic two cycle mix ( I use this stuff on all my two cycle equipment). Consider buying the Oregon chainsaw grinder ( $399.) I know it sounds like a lot of money but it pays for itself in a short time. They wanted $12.00 to sharpen a 16" chain, after I sharpened thrity chains the machine was paid for. You get really good at using this machine and only need to grind very little to get a new edge. Beats using a file. If you go with Stihl please stay away from their low end models, my neighbor got one that did not run right when new and once the warranty ran out he was out of gas. Good luck and stay safe.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

            Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
            The more i look, the more I am leaning toward the Stihl MS280C-BQ Model
            http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS280CBQ.html
            The one I used a few weeks ago I believe was the 270 model, but why not a little bigger right? But the quick chain adjustment is hands down awesome.


            Big box stores dont sell Stihl except Gander Mountian around here, and they have a shop right there in the place.
            If you're gonna buy this one go for the 390 instead and get a little more power. Personally I'd like to see you with the MS 460, a chainsaw to make Leatherface proud and you can still use a 16" bar and chain.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

              I was also looking at the Husqavarna 455 Rancher Tool-less model as well, very closely spec'd with the 280 Stihl, and about the same price.

              I know someone that is getting a blade sharpener, so no need to buy my own...

              As far as the larger model... maybe, but I really dont cut that much wood. Plus, I know its a stickler, but I like the idea of the tool-less adjustmet... I am telling ya, it was the shizzy to have!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                I was also looking at the Husqavarna 455 Rancher Tool-less model as well, very closely spec'd with the 280 Stihl, and about the same price.

                I know someone that is getting a blade sharpener, so no need to buy my own...

                As far as the larger model... maybe, but I really dont cut that much wood. Plus, I know its a stickler, but I like the idea of the tool-less adjustmet... I am telling ya, it was the shizzy to have!
                Okay, I get it you're a smart and reasonable guy so you don't want overkill? I say throw caution to the wind and get the extra power, you'll be glad you did. I have never retentioned a chain once I put it on and a screw/wrench tool is handy to change chains and bars. I agree that it's a nice feature but don't let that prevent you from getting a powerful chainsaw that will last longer and run stronger. If you don't already have a good air compressor I suggest you get one. They are great to blow out the saw dust and wood chips that get clogged up around the sprocket.
                Last edited by Frankiarmz; 04-27-2008, 08:39 PM. Reason: sp

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                  Oh, I am definately a overkill guy, my pickup has 408HP and 932ft lbs of torque at the wheels, trust me, I am a over kill kinda guy!

                  But yeah, I am thinking a little rationally here on this decision. I really cant spend more than 400 or so bucks on a chainsaw. I would love the biggest baddest chainsaw, but I really dont want to lug around a heavy chainsaw if i dont have too. The 455 and 280 are right in there around 12-13lbs. If I learned anything cutting wood a few weekends ago, the big boys we had worked awesome for hacking up those big trees, but after a while of cutting up the small stuff, which a majority of it was, those big saws got REALLY freakin heavy, and the smaller units were much more friendly on the back.

                  Dont get me wrong, I am definately going to take the advice I do get here, as I really do want a reliable saw that I will be happy with, but I do need to keep the wallet and wife happy!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                    Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
                    Oh, I am definately a overkill guy, my pickup has 408HP and 932ft lbs of torque at the wheels, trust me, I am a over kill kinda guy!

                    But yeah, I am thinking a little rationally here on this decision. I really cant spend more than 400 or so bucks on a chainsaw. I would love the biggest baddest chainsaw, but I really dont want to lug around a heavy chainsaw if i dont have too. The 455 and 280 are right in there around 12-13lbs. If I learned anything cutting wood a few weekends ago, the big boys we had worked awesome for hacking up those big trees, but after a while of cutting up the small stuff, which a majority of it was, those big saws got REALLY freakin heavy, and the smaller units were much more friendly on the back.

                    Dont get me wrong, I am definately going to take the advice I do get here, as I really do want a reliable saw that I will be happy with, but I do need to keep the wallet and wife happy!
                    You read my mind with the horsepower thing! Glad I'm not the only one who overdoes it. Yeah, the money is a serious issue they are expensive and the used ones are a crap shoot. Hey, good luck with your choice and let us know how it turns out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                      This is my kind of Thread! I've been using chainsaws for over thrity years and they are my favorite tool. I own big heavy Homelites but I would not recommend Homelite, or Sears. Poulan is a light weight good for occassional moderate use. My ultimate chainsaw would be a Stihl although Husquavarna is also very tough. I hate primer bulbs and cheap plastic chokes! Stihl has a lousy warranty for such an expensive and highly rated product. I would however make a few suggestions, buy the most chainsaw you can afford. Even the largest displacement Stihls are very light. Go for a 18" bar and blade combo because spare bars and chains will be cheaper and you can cut a very big diameter anyway. Use "Amsoil" synthetic two cycle mix ( I use this stuff on all my two cycle equipment). Consider buying the Oregon chainsaw grinder ( $399.) I know it sounds like a lot of money but it pays for itself in a short time. They wanted $12.00 to sharpen a 16" chain, after I sharpened thrity chains the machine was paid for. You get really good at using this machine and only need to grind very little to get a new edge. Beats using a file. If you go with Stihl please stay away from their low end models, my neighbor got one that did not run right when new and once the warranty ran out he was out of gas. Good luck and stay safe.

                      couple weeks ago just ordered a brand new model of the oregon chain sharpener, they updated the 511a to a 511ax and on this web site i got it for $320 shipped http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...ol&query=511ax

                      they do still have the 511a also http://right-tool.stores.yahoo.net/orchainsawsh.html
                      its $279 plus shipping so i am going to guess right at $300 bucks

                      these things are worth the money if you need a chain sharpened very often at all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                        Originally posted by MAS View Post
                        couple weeks ago just ordered a brand new model of the oregon chain sharpener, they updated the 511a to a 511ax and on this web site i got it for $320 shipped http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...ol&query=511ax

                        they do still have the 511a also http://right-tool.stores.yahoo.net/orchainsawsh.html
                        its $279 plus shipping so i am going to guess right at $300 bucks

                        these things are worth the money if you need a chain sharpened very often at all.
                        Mas, I don't know if you have used these machines and if you have just ignore my advice. Order a spare grinding wheel and be careful to have the wheel lined up right on the arbor when you tighten things up or else you will break the stone. Don't grind more than you have to in order to get a good edge. I taught myself how to use the grinder and I did overdo it in the beginning. I guess they got the bugs out of the newer models but I keep mine unplugged when not in use because there was some kind of voltage leak that would cause the on/off switch to heat up. Very good investment, good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                          I'm a husky fan and own 2.I had echo,poulan,sears,sthil.The sthils are good the local dealers I don't like ,the husky local dealer is great.My old husky rancher has gone thru many bars and chains and still runs great.I have a brand new husky.forget the model right now but its about a 16'' bar.I bought it to replace a husky that had years of hard use.The rancher saw I've pulled big bars with and only use it on big logs.I really didnt like the poulan,echo and sears saws I had as to me quality wasn't great and they lacked power but then they were the smaller saws that don't cost all that much.
                          I like a 16'' bar for most things as the saws are lighter and easier to use.The price difference between the cheaper saws and a quality saw in the small sizes isn't much and well worth the extra money
                          my 2 cents Sam

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                            Depending on your local dealer, I recommend STIHL but go for one of their professional (not home user) models. If you can stand the cost, look at the MS260Pro. I know it costs more than you had in mind, but this is a real chainsaw.

                            Try this link and even if you have to take a good drive, look for a Stihl Elite rated dealer. The trip normally is worth the distance.
                            http://www.stihldealer.net/locator/s...ku=ms260p&pc=0

                            You may run into an issue regarding safety as many tree service professionals do not like the low kickback chains. The pro models sometimes come with the older type of fast cut chain and for home users it must be changed to comply with safety laws. The trick is to try to purchase it from a licensed tree service where they get it and sell it to you for cash and not record it. They and you need to be sure the saw is OK as only they can take it back to the dealer. I'm not sure if the MS260Pro is only for tree service companies or not. Personally, I have an old electric one that serves my limited needs. When I need more beef, I rent one for a day and that's only about once a year.
                            Last edited by Woussko; 04-28-2008, 07:14 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Chain Saw Recomendation.

                              I would recommend the Stihl. Realize you can get bars and chains fairly easily, so swapping from 20" to 16" is not a big deal. I personally hand sharpen my chains and it does not take much effort. Dressing up the teeth is only part of it. If you don't fill down the kicker link for clearance it still won't cut. Either way, you will be sharpening the chain a lot if you use it much or dig it into the dirt. (bad on chain as well as the bar)
                              With Stihl, you can also change sprockets to change from .325 to .375 if the replacements are cheaper for one or the other.
                              I have a 25 yr old Stihl that I use for slabbing out logs (red oak, maple, wild black cherry). Works hard and still starts on 3rd pull or so even in cold weather.
                              Whatever one you buy, I would recommend putting Stabil in your gas mix if you don't use it often. It will keep the gas good and keep the varnish from building up in the carburetor and on the fuel pump diaphragm.
                              Also buy chain oil/bar oil (don't use just motor oil) Chain oil is thicker so it does not sling off the chain before it makes the round trip around the bar. Will greatly increase the life of the bar (aka beaver tail).
                              Stores like Agri supply and Tractor Supply Company usually stock replacement bars/chains that will fit Stihl, as well as a multitude of other brands, if you are looking for an alternate source of chains/bars that are not as expensive. Lowes carries the chains but not necessarily the bars for brands other than what they sell. You may want to check what's available as the cost for chains and bars can mount up pretty quickly.
                              The reason I mention this is because when I lived in FL, the only place I could get .325 chains charged $0.50 a link (which meant a 16" chain was over $30 and 20" was $40+). I changed to a .375 sprocket and got the price down to $24. That was 5 yrs ago, and here in NC I can buy either for $15 today.

                              Go.
                              Practicing at practical wood working

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