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#1 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 04:34 PM

I have been losing my mind sitting inside, I have been sick since Sunday and have done nothing but lay around since then. Today, I couldn't take it anymore! So, I decided to go take down a tree. I grabbed the saw, and filled it with mix and oil. I found a dead ash tree, about 40-50 feet tall and 16 or so inches at the base. It came down easy, and I cut about half of it into rounds. I stopped because the chain was dull as ever. The hour I was cutting, I noticed how badly I needed a better saw.

I have one of those cheep 42cc craftsman saws, it also comes under many other names. I was going to find a better saw this summer, but I realized I don't really know what to look for! So, is there a certain saw you guys have had better luck with then others? What should I look for when buying a saw?

Since new saws are so expensive, I would rather find a used one. I need at least a 16 inch bar, but 18 or 20 would be ideal. Other then that, I don't have any other requirements.

Edited by Ryan313, January 23, 2013 - 04:35 PM.


#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 04:52 PM

Echo Makes a great saw, I have had a CS 440 with 18'' bar for over 7 years and its still running strong. Only thing I had to replace so far was the chain!

 

 

As for a used saw I'm a big McCulloch fan.

 

I have several mini macs with 8''-12'' bars for the small stuff  and a 610 Pro Mac with 20'' bar  that's currently down for repair.



#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 04:59 PM

Another thing I wanted to add is determining what kind of work you are going to do with the saw.

 

There's different saws for different amounts of work, for example the "average" home owner who just cuts a couple trees a year would be fine with one of the "lighter duty" saws like your current craftsman, For "Farm Use" Or "Logging" When you anticipate felling a good amount of trees and cutting firewood you will want a heavier duty saw which is designed for longer working hours.

 

I dont know if they are still making the Echo CS440 but I think at the time it was a step above their "cheaper" model. A few years back my cousin and I had to clear a space for his new cabin and dropped 40 trees in one day. The 440 Ran like a champ!



#4 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 05:03 PM

If you go to auctions look for an old saw there.  The old blue colored Homelite's are some of the best saws in  IMO.  I have an old McCullough that I gave $15 for at auction and I really like it.  Also have an early-red colored Homelite 140 that I gave $4 for at an auction back in the mid 1990's and that thing is an awesome saw.  FIL has a much more modern poulan he got at WalMart.  I get along with it great but ....well....he is the kind of guy that could tear up a crowbar in a sawdust pile. 



#5 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 05:09 PM

I bet that chainsaws are like GTs and there are those that just plain like their brand.

Myself?  I have only owned a few.  In the 80's I bought a small saw at a flea market that turned out to be to small so I bought a used Homelite XL-101.  (the blue one)  That saw had a 16 inch bar and was great.  It had a manual oiler and I liked that cause I could really give it the oill and once I learned how to sharpen a chain, I could cut a lot of wood between sharpening.  My father-in-law was a logger and he taught me how.  When I had to take it into a shop once, he let me borrow one of his "limbing" saws, which was a Jonsered with a 18"bar.  That sucker was fast and worked circles around my homelite.  But then again, it was owned, sharpened, and maintained by someone who used it professionally.

Fast forward to 2006, had no use for a chainsaw since the 80's and saw a little red Homelite in a Goodwill store in Florida for 6 bucks.  I bought it and brought it to Virginia, put some mix in and it started right up.   I have used it to clear up limbs and stuff brought down by the wind.  It's a tiny saw and good for what I need it for, but it wouldn't start a couple of years ago so it has been setting.  I picked up a little electric saw at a yard sale and have used that a couple of times.  I finally took the little Homelite in and they have ordered a carb kit.  I saw Craftsman on Craigslist this week and bought it for $50. That has a 16 inch bar and a new chain, so I am all set for awhile.

I have a small woodstove, a Jotul 602.  Most folks around here cut their firewood to long for my stove.  I order some, tell them that it has to be under 16 inches or it won't fit.  They promise to keep it short and I usually have to re-cut about 1/3 of the load, hence the need for a saw.


Edited by robert_p43, January 23, 2013 - 05:12 PM.


#6 twostep ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 05:19 PM

Dad has a 16" Stihl that runs and cuts like a top. I really like my Dolmar that was my uncles before he passed.

 

what is your budget?



#7 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 05:32 PM

I definitely need a heavier duty saw, I burn about 4-5 cords of wood each year; the majority of what I burn I gather myself.

I am not sure exactly what I am willing to spend, I guess it depends on what I come across; although, I think that 200 would be the absolute top of the mark.

#8 Farmlife OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 05:53 PM

If ya wanna spend the money, can't go wrong with Stihl.  Now that being said, Husqarvana makes an awesome chainsaw, heck they make awesome everything that I've used.  I have an older John Deere (yes I own a JD) chainsaw and that damn thing came stock with a wooden handle attached to the pole string and let me tell ya, its the best damn saw I ever used.  If you can find a used one like I did that was taken care of...do it. Just my 2cents....



#9 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:03 PM

My Sears is a Poulan (green) and have good luck with it, what little I use it. 16" bar. Was acting up and put in a carb kit, tiny little pieces, and new fuel lines. These units with little clear lines just get hard and fall apart!  Had same issues with my big weed eater. After new lines, and the filter end in the tank both run much better. NOt sure if it is alchohol in the gas or if those lines just don't survive?  Hard to find right size to put back in too. Can't find rubber that small and plstics in Hardware stores are too big.  Dealers have line kits  that are expensive for a few feet.  Hardest part to put in saw is making end tapered so you can poke it in the little hole in tank and pull thru. It has to fit real tight to seal, no other way.  I then pull out of tank and cut square, put on the new filter end and pull some of line back out of tank till it seems right. Trim at the carb end after feeding it around the little spaces in handle and such.  Only thing I don't like is the auto oiler. Doesn't seem to do that much lubing and plugs up wth sawdust while using. I think a manual oiler would be better choice.



#10 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:06 PM

The only JD saw I ever used was junk.  Not sure if that was due to the manufacturer or the owner though...he's not known for careful maintenance.  

 

Nicest saw I ever used was my Dad's 16" Stihl.  It sold (well-used) for $120 at the estate auction, so at least a couple of guys there knew what a nice saw it was.

 

I had a little McCullough that was nice.  The only problem I ever had with it was the fuel filter gumming up due to lack of use.

 

 

Dolmar made a nice saw, but Makita bought them here in Canada (not sure about the US) and I'm not a fan of the Makita gas tools.  They do make an excellent electric though...perfect for guys like me who cut maybe 1/4 cord a year, but no good for Ryan unless he really likes changing armatures.



#11 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:07 PM

Stihl MS260 or one of their other Heavy Duty saws.  Not the MS250 or lower. I have a 250 and it's fine for what I use it for but to do a lot of cutting the 260 is a much better choice. 



#12 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:17 PM

Looks like everyone has a different opinion so far :D


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#13 marlboro180 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:17 PM

Ryan,

 

Pops introduced me to Stihl chainsaws a couple decades ago, and I have never looked back. One of mine I bought from the local small engine repair shop that a customer bailed on the oiler bill. I gladly paid the $160 repair bill for the Stihl 026, and it was mine. A few years later, the Department of public works was auctioning off their older saws, and I picked up yet another used Stihl, but a 20T ( topping saw) for a cool 75 bucks. Neither saw has let me down, and I still  cut many cords a year with them.

 

Speaking of cords, I sure like my 2 Makita 3500 110V chainsaws. :-) Quiet, powerful, and never ever fail to start . :rolling:  :rolling:  :rolling:


Edited by marlboro180, January 23, 2013 - 06:18 PM.

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#14 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 06:55 PM

I wouldn't be without my Stihl.  I love that saw and it has been very good for years now.  029 Farm Boss.  I cut and burn about the same amount you do, maybe more.  That Farm Boss is the perfect saw for me.  I run an 18" bar on it.  Big enough to cut anything I feed it but small enough I don't get myself into trouble.  I think the M290 is the new model now.

 

Husqarvana used to make a great saw.  I've been told that Jonsored bought them out and made Husqarvana their cheap brand.  They are only good for about 50 hours now.  Not sure how true that is but the person who told me that is not a Stihl dealer so...  Shame too as my brother used to be a dealer and his old saw still is at the top of its game.

 

I tried the Echo, Poulen and Craftsman and all of them gave me about a year.  I would like to get a new Stihl this year and keep the older one as a back up.  I think I've had that saw for 10 years or more and have only tuned it up once.

 

Go onto ebay and you can find a good used 029 in your price range probably.



#15 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2013 - 07:24 PM

Thanks for all of the opinions guys! Other then my craftsman and little old homelite I have only used a couple stihls. One was a large professional saw, the other is my neighbors little saw. The large one I used about two years ago, for only a few cuts; I don't remember what it was like. My Neighbors has about a 16" bar and is more of a homeowner model, it was decent but he let the chain get badly damaged so it was hard to tell.

 

I found one site on my phone that had all of the different saws made by stihl and their specs (can't find it now). I looked at them all and I think the ms260 would be many times better then my craftsman, but I think the ms290 would suit my needs perfectly. I am not decided yet though. I will wait for more opinions to come along. :D






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