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Old 11-26-2015, 07:30 PM   #1
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chainsaws


can anyone offer some suggestions on what is a god chain saw for the average homeowner ? i don't cut trees for a living, just use it ocassoinally, so don't need the best there is but don't want some cheap junk either. Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
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I have Stihl, Echo and Craftsman, The only brand I would consider buying now is Stihl
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:28 PM   #3
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Stihl---hands down.

I've owned Dolmar--world best in its day---
Husquivarna--not bad at all-
And a bunch of junk Poulan---all junk free is about the most you should pay for one of those.

Get the Stihl---Dolmar is over kill for home maintanance
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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Stihl is the best. Starts in one pull. Well engineered product all around.

Poulans are junk. Has less than 1/4 the use of the Stihl and 10X the issues.

Haven't used the Husqvarnas but they make some nice tools. Local rental shop has swapped over to a bunch of their stuff and it is well liked.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:44 PM   #5
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Stihl Farm Boss or Husqvarna. Both are very good. As for the chain, use a Carbide one. It will last longer.



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Old 11-26-2015, 10:53 PM   #6
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Carbide chains are slow cutting and expensive. They are best used for specialty cutting like rescue, demolition, burl cutting,etc.

The most popular steel chain is chisel cut. It has a fast cutting speed. Moderate stay sharp quality.
Semi-chisel cut chains are a bit slower than the chisel cut, but stay sharp longer. Good choice for general cutting and works well on dirty wood.
Square chisel cut is probably the fastest cutting, but poor stay sharp qualities and difficult to sharpen.

You can buy 3 steel chains for the cost of a carbide.

If you are cutting wood that has a good chance of nails in it, carbide would be your best choice. But for trimming trees or cutting fire wood, I'll stick with steel.

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Old 11-26-2015, 11:22 PM   #7
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Oso954, actually not more then a regular chain. They cut a lot faster through stuff like Maple, vs. the regular chains. Never had any issue using a Carbide chain on my Stihl 180 with a 16" chain. It cut through everything like Butter.



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Old 11-27-2015, 02:01 AM   #8
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My Echo cs-301 is still going strong after 15 years.

So is the old McCulloch.

They're not commercial grade, but, they get put to work.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:15 AM   #9
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Low kickback chains often slip my mind, and that is what you are probably using. They are not as aggressive as the chains that I use. That is probably the biggest difference in our comparisons of cutting speed.

Carbide chains simply don't come as aggressive as the better steel chains, and you wouldn't want them to if you are going to hit something hard.

Since the OP should be using the low kickback, your cutting speed comparison is the one that he should use.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Low kickback chains often slip my mind, and that is what you are probably using. They are not as aggressive as the chains that I use. That is probably the biggest difference in our comparisons of cutting speed.

Carbide chains simply don't come as aggressive as the better steel chains, and you wouldn't want them to if you are going to hit something hard.

Since the OP should be using the low kickback, your cutting speed comparison is the one that he should use.
Nope. I used a Carbide chain on my Stihl 180, because of the different variety of woods that I cut with it, before I sold it to friends of ours. Because of back problems, I could no longer use it, so they took it off of my hands.

The Stihl 180 only uses a Low Kickback chain, because it is a Narrow Kerf design.



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Old 11-27-2015, 07:53 AM   #11
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I also vote for the Stihl, The 2, Poulan Pro's I've own all leaked at the oil pump after just a few uses.
I own 2, Stihl's now that get used a lot. Both always start, so far I've never had to work on them except to sharpen the blade.
The key to gas powered tools that get little use for months at a time is to use nonethenol fuel, only use fresh gas, let them run out of fuel when you done using them.
Tools like snowblowers, chainsaws, rototillers are the most common one's to end up having fuel issues.
And just adding regular Sta-Bil to the fuel is not going to counter act the effects of the ethenol in the fuel.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:01 AM   #12
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I have owned Poulan, Husqvarna, McCulloch and Stihl chainsaws. I agree that Poulan is junk. My old old McCulloch was OK, I have not seen them for sale in several years. I had several Husqvarna saws, seems to me that the quality has deteriorated over the years, now you almost have to get the Pro model to get a decent saw. My current saw is a Stihl MS 290. Not a professional model, but good power, very reliable, pretty well made. If I had to get another saw right now, it would be a Stihl.

As for chains, I have never used a carbide chain, only the steel low kickback chains. When properly sharpened, they cut very well. I am not sure you can sharpen a carbide chain, certainly I have never tried to sharpen a carbide tipped table saw blade or a carbide tipped router bit.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:16 AM   #13
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Considering how fickle infrequently used 2 cycle engines can become, I stongly suggest a corded electric model. Any of the brands including the $44 (on sale) model from Harbor Freight will be far more dependable and usable that the most expensive gasoline model.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:18 PM   #14
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ok, thanks for all the input. i wondered about the poulan, its on sale in the holiday adds for 99, one even has it for 89. judging from all your input i will probebly go with a stihl and not too concerned about types of chains. have a johnsereds ( how ever its spelled ) but its 40 years old and about at the end of the line. thanks again.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
i wondered about the poulan, its on sale in the holiday adds for 99, one even has it for 89.
Ayuh,.... Those are more of a throw-away saw,...
You might get a few or several years out of it,....
I'd probably get a few months outa one,....

I've got a 290 Stihl I bought new a few years ago, to back up my ole 044 Stihl I block firewood with,...
20" bars,...
The 290 is a good limbin' saw, but lacks terribly when blockin' up hardwood trees,...

The ole 044 developed a motor problem earlier this fall, after searchin' craigslist for too long, I finally found a 460 Magnum Stihl,...

My tree guy has been sayin' for years that the 044 is Ok, but the 046/ 460 is the Perfect blockin' saw, Lotsa horsepower, without the weight of the big block 660s,...
He's Right,.... Talk about a Saw Dust machine,...

Blockin' hard maple, with the 20" bar, or the 25" that came with it, you can barely labor the motor,...
Unbelieveable hp difference in a like weight package,....

I'm gonna do the big bore top-end rebuild on the ole 044,...
That'll give it the same displacement as the 460,...

As for chains,.... I run the pro-model full chisel chain with rakers,...
None of that safety chain stuff for me,... takes to long to grind those nubs down to get a decent cut,...

Carbide cutters is Firemen's chain,....
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