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Old 08-17-2011, 13:08   #1
DoctaGlockta
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Time for a Chainsaw need Rx

With the severe weather this summer I'm expecting a wicked winter this year and need to prepare. I have been without a good chainsaw for sometime. Time for a new one. Probably need an 18" unit. Any recommendations from you chaps would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-17-2011, 14:03   #2
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There are many people that will give you differing opinions on chainsaws, it's almost as bad as some of the gun debates.

Some will say "Only buy the $600 Stihl, the rest are junk."

Personally I have a 20" Poulan Pro, which I have used the crap out of and it's still going strong. I've had a couple of Poulans over time, and never had any problems with them.

I lot will depend on what you're going to use it for. If you're clearing storm debris then anything might work. If you're cutting up 36" oaks professionally, then you're going to want a better saw.

You might also want to checkout this site: http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/
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Old 08-17-2011, 14:24   #3
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i have an 18" poulan pro and a 14" stihl. both are good saws. the poulan is needing a new chain before this fall though as i loaned it to a buddy and it came back missing several teeth, old barbed wire grown into a tree

i was given the stihl by my dad awhile back. the poulan pro i picked up at an auction for $75.

to echo above, i dont think the average homeowner needing a saw will be able to tell the difference in brands. i prefer some over others more along the lines of replacement parts and such. the cheaper imports are still usable but more disposable.
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Old 08-17-2011, 14:29   #4
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I run a 16 inch Stihl and a 18 inch husky.


Unless you really, really need a big motor or a 20 inch bar, most would probably be fine with a smaller bar and a smaller motor (and price)

That said, I would go with one of the bigger names, they're well known and trusted for a reason. Lots of people say my xxx brand works as good as a Stihl thats twice the price, but when seriously cutting wood for the winter, or for hunting camp, I've yet to see one of those that really did hang.
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Old 08-17-2011, 14:36   #5
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I'm a Stihl guy, but others will work too. I hear the Husqies are very good. My FIL has a couple of cheapos (Homelite, Craftsman) and we cut down a bunch of trees with those two. They are bare knuckle though, not fancy. My dad bought a Stihl Wood boss about 25-30 years ago and it still starts on the first pull. I have an MS280, and it is light, smooth, powerful, and cuts really well. I guess it just comes down to how much you are going to use it and how much you want to spend. Whatever you buy, just keep it maintained and have good fuel/oil on hand. Run it every now and then. I need to fire mine up now that I think about it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 15:49   #6
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Probably the best alround saw for your application for what I am presuming to be residential use would be a Stihl MS290 Farm Boss. Great, alround saw that is not too heavy, has decent power, and will accomodate upto a 24 " bar and at a very reasonable price for a saw of this quality and caliber.

I have an Stihl O-66 that I have had since 1993 and it is "stihl" running strong. I also have an MS192T that I use for limbing and tree trimming.

I have had Homelite and other brands, the Huskys are OK but just not in the same league as a Stihl. You will find that most loggers go with Stihl.
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Old 08-17-2011, 15:57   #7
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Time for a Chainsaw need Rx

I try to buy my tools only once...

I'm using a Stihl 361 and could not be happier - no doubt this saw will last my lifetime. I should note that I heat with wood and put back 5-6 cord each year...
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Old 08-17-2011, 17:31   #8
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I have beaten the crap out of both Poulan and Stihl with good results.
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Old 08-17-2011, 17:37   #9
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Just looked last week at saws with a friend.

Sthil 290 farm boss, same saw i've had since 2001 $359.00 new.

no regrets.

Ps when you first hear the saw start to run out of fuel, shut it down, when it's outta fuel it's out of oil.

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Old 08-17-2011, 18:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctaGlockta View Post
With the severe weather this summer I'm expecting a wicked winter this year and need to prepare. I have been without a good chainsaw for sometime. Time for a new one. Probably need an 18" unit. Any recommendations from you chaps would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Real men would use a BFA...Last word is axe!
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Old 08-17-2011, 19:01   #11
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I run the 14" Stihl. All my yard tools are Stihl and there is a dealer where I live, service is a concern also.
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Old 08-17-2011, 20:12   #12
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Stihl or Husky.
Everthing else is consumer grade.

Basically find out what models the pros are using as limbing saws and go with that.
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Old 08-17-2011, 22:26   #13
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Something I didn't know for a long time, is the difference in two stroke oil. I think most oil that you find just about anywhere is really outboard oil, even if it says multipurpose and has a pic of a chainsaw on the bottle (Valvoline).

Advanced Auto has Pennzoil that is API TC, that's what I've been using lately.

http://www.7thgear.net/7thGear/Porta...il%20specs.pdf
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Old 08-17-2011, 23:16   #14
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Stihl a strong first with Husqvarna an increasingly distant second. Husky's quality has ready dropped from its Electrolux (and now Poulan) days. I know that people don't like to hear it, but you often really do get what you pay for. And Stihl's after-purchase service is second to none.

As far as specific models, the Stihl MS 250 is plenty of chainsaw for most homeowner needs.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:10   #15
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Thanks for all the input guys. Looks like I'll be getting a Stihl.
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Old 08-18-2011, 16:01   #16
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Thanks for all the input guys. Looks like I'll be getting a Stihl.
And an axe. Don't forget the axe! All chainsaws run on gas....
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Old 08-18-2011, 18:16   #17
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I sell husqvarna and thats what I know. I work at a saw shop outside of Tuscaloosa, which was recently hit by a devistating tornado. We sold 400-500 saws in a matter of 2 weeks. We only had a handfull of saws come back for warranty issues, most were user related. In the 18" line I would recomend a husqvarna model 450. Plenty of power and capable of running a 20" should the situation dictate it necessary.
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Old 08-18-2011, 18:50   #18
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I've got a Husky 359 running a 20" bar. No complaints hear. There's a site called arboristsite.com that has tons of info. Everything form guys running their 20yo Homelites to guys running saws that look like they're using the intake and exhaust off of a dirtbike.
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Old 08-18-2011, 19:09   #19
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Thanks for all the input guys. Looks like I'll be getting a Stihl.
Buy the Stihl bar oil and the Stihl gas additive. There IS a difference and it is micropennies to what your saw cost.
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Old 08-18-2011, 20:51   #20
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so as the next step up, what would you guys recommend in the 24-30" range for more serious use later down the road? was looking at a husquie farm boss iirc with a 24" bar
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:28   #21
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so as the next step up, what would you guys recommend in the 24-30" range for more serious use later down the road? was looking at a husquie farm boss iirc with a 24" bar

if you plan to use a 24-30" bar, a Stihl 361 would be the smallest saw I'd recommend. A 460 would be better suited for that application.

Any saw in the 60-70cc range should be your baseline for a bar of that size.



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Old 08-19-2011, 09:46   #22
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so as the next step up, what would you guys recommend in the 24-30" range for more serious use later down the road? was looking at a husquie farm boss iirc with a 24" bar
24 -30 inch bars is getting into the big hp range of saws if you are truly going to use all of that bar length. You will also need a LOT more hp to drive the chisel head tooth chain used on a bar of this size.

Based on the use I have put my O-66 to, I would not go with anything less than the Stihl MS 441 or its variants the MS 460 would be more to my liking. Unless you have a very specific application or are cutting some REALLY big trees, I would not go much longer than a 24 inch bar unless you like sharpening saw chains alot as it is MUCH more difficult to keep enough cutting pressure on the bar to prevent burning the edge on the cutter heads and sticking the chain into the ground.

You can always keep a 30 inch bar and chain on the shelf for those times you really need it but for most use, the 24 inch bar is plenty. I have cut 3 to 4 ft. diameter black walnut and oak trees with a 24 inch bar without much problem, even larger diameters on trees that were hollowed out.

For that size bar, I would recommend the MS 460 or MS 660.
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