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Which chainsaw?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 16:49
helo18 View Drop Down
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I am looking at getting a chainsaw for misc use.  I want one that I can throw in my truck when I go off roading.  Or take to the hunting camp.  Use around the property and for cutting firewood.  I don't really want a heavy saw, but weight isn't what will make me decide on the saw I get.  I think I have a couple that I like the looks of.

1.  Stihl MS 260 Pro
2.  Husqvarna 346 XP

I want a 20" bar even though most of the cutting I do will be less than 16".  I have run into several times I wished I had a 20" when all I had was 14" or 16".

Which one would you guys get, recommend?  Any other saws I should be looking at.  I have used the older stihl 026 and 036 series and just love the way those saws run, but have heard the husqvarnas are good saws too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 17:01
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I've had great luck with Stihl chainsaws in general.  I haven't used that many different models, but those I have ran all day without any problems.  There's nothing more frustrating than a tool that works against you rather than with you.  I can't tell you how much time I've spent working on the crappy Poulan chainsaw we have at our hunting camp.  The chain simply won't stay tightened because it has a cheaply made, poorly designed bar tightening mechanism.  We've already replaced its flimsy clutch twice.  It is very finicky to get started as well.  Even the case it came in sucks -- the latches won't stay closed, so you frequently dump the saw onto the ground when you're carrying it.  Even though I didn't buy it for heavy duty work, still, I've bought my last Poulan.  You get what you pay for.  I would rather have one good Stihl than a truckload of Poulans, McCulloughs, Homelites, etc. 

I've heard good things about the Husqvarna chainsaws but have never used one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 17:14
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Both great products with equally good reputations,  I think your in good shape with either. 
 
I've often said: never buy a pickup truck or a chainsaw, because your too cheap freinds and relatives always want to borrow them and when they are returned, their always in disrepair.


Edited by lucytuma - July/04/2010 at 17:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 18:04
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I have a McCullough and have had it 5 or 6 years I dont use it often dont take very good care of it but it always starts and runs and it was fairly cheap for the 16 in model that I have so unless you use one a lot I wouldnt spend more this thing is reliable you just have to get the blade sharpened occasionally.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 18:12
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Stihl &  Husqvarna are excellent saws.  Might consider an Echo depending on price.  I have been using a 20" CS670 for years and it is a very rugged saw, although maybe a little heavier than you want.  Now replaced by the CS 680, available with 20 - 24 - 27" bar.
 
 


Edited by Dogger - July/04/2010 at 18:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 18:39
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The most I have ever used a saw was doing line work. The Stihl we had was an absolute dream compared to the lower priced models I had always used before. I have also heard good things about the Husky's but never used one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 19:11
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I love my Husqvarna 435.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 19:35
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I've had a Husqvarna 20" for the past 4 years,starts first time every time,it's been rock solid.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 22:32
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http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS362.html
this is the new model of the same sized saw i use at work all the time, its a great all around saw that doesnt weigh a ton, but with a smaller bar 18-24" will cut pretty much anything you need.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/04/2010 at 22:49
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I really like my Stihl MS 310 It is in the lower end of the pro series. The Pro series are worth the difference over the Stihl residential or occasional lines. Mine is 6 years old and has never failed to start.  It is normally fitted with a 16" bar but it has no trouble with the 20". The best part it always starts even in below zero temps. It has seen plenty of use cleaning up after the ice storms.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 00:42
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If you are going to abuse it then I would get the Husky, they are built stronger (trimmed trees for almost four years with Husky's and they took just about every slap back to the tree).  If it is going to have an easy life and just normal saw working conditions then I would get a Stihl, they run better and last longer, but do not stand up well to abuse.  I would go with the Stihl personally, good luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 04:39
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I've had a Husq for 13 years, wouldn't trade it.  Several friends have Sthils and they lovem as well.  You can't go wrong with either one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 06:38
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+1 on a Stihl. Mine has been trouble-free for over 15 years.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 07:05
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I have had a Husky 455 (gift from friend) for a few years now and have cut an ASS TON of firewood with it.
I like the saw, but hate the way it leaks bar oil when not in use. It's not coming from the chain oil resevior cap, but it will leave a pool of bar oil on the ground if sat for any length of time, for reasons unknown to me.
 
My next saw will be a Stihl, because I think they are a little better all around saw. I have used many Stihls over the years, without trouble. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 07:42
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 I worked powerline r/w maintenance and construction for 15yrs.  Also cut timber and pulpwood for a better part of 20yrs.  I've used all of the major brands of saws and can honestly tell you they all did well.  More important is that you do routine mainenace on them and that you have a GOOD service center nearby in case a problem arises.
  My own personal saw is an Echo CS550EVL I bought new in '85.  It has been and still is used both hard and alot. I've not had one problem with it.  My son has a Stihl Farmboss and a Husqvarna of comparable size.  Both have been GOOD saws.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 16:30
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I got to go to a few different places today.  One a Husqvarna dealer to handle the 346xp, 357xp, and the 353.  And then to a Stihl dealer to handle the 260 Pro, 362, and 311.

The 353 to me did not feel as well made as the 346xp or the 357xp, so it is out.  Same with the stihl 311.  As for the 357xp and the 362, they are very nice saws, but bigger than what I want, or probably need.  So I am back to the 346xp and 260 Pro.

Honestly the 260 Pro just felt better to me when I picked it up.  Both had the 20" bars.  The Husqy had the .325" bar and the Stihl had the 3/8" bar and chain.  I like the 3/8" better but I am not sure there is much difference in cutting.  I did tell them that if I buy the Stihl they have to put a normal chain on it, and not the anti kickback safety chain.  They said they would.

The stihl does run about $30 more than the Husqvarna.  Both feel like great saws, but I am leaning a little towards the Stihl.  Wish I could run them side by side for a couple hours.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 16:33
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Both are good saw's, i don't think you can go wrong with either one. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 17:05
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I don't run too much for chainsaws, but have a Stihl brushcutter that I've been running for 15 years plus, and a concrete saw that's been around at least as long. Both have been great tools. But all the Husqy stuff I've had has been great too. I don't think you could go wrong with either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 17:41
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I used a lot of different saws on both logging and fire line assignments.  I had a little Stihl 024 that I loved, and a workhorse 044 for the fireline, but my personal saw is a Husky 345.  It is little, but is absolutely reliable and has plenty of juice. 

Put me +1 in the Husky camp.
 
BTW, stay away from that @#* &%*^ "safety chain"!!!!!!!
 
Makes me sick just thinking about it.
Dead
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 20:43
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

I got to go to a few different places today.  One a Husqvarna dealer to handle the 346xp, 357xp, and the 353.  And then to a Stihl dealer to handle the 260 Pro, 362, and 311.

The 353 to me did not feel as well made as the 346xp or the 357xp, so it is out.  Same with the stihl 311.  As for the 357xp and the 362, they are very nice saws, but bigger than what I want, or probably need.  So I am back to the 346xp and 260 Pro.

Honestly the 260 Pro just felt better to me when I picked it up.  Both had the 20" bars.  The Husqy had the .325" bar and the Stihl had the 3/8" bar and chain.  I like the 3/8" better but I am not sure there is much difference in cutting.  I did tell them that if I buy the Stihl they have to put a normal chain on it, and not the anti kickback safety chain.  They said they would.

The stihl does run about $30 more than the Husqvarna.  Both feel like great saws, but I am leaning a little towards the Stihl.  Wish I could run them side by side for a couple hours.

just remember that stihls run two tanks of gas to one tank of bar oil.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 21:13
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I agree with GetSome... the Husky is a bit tougher, but the Stihl is more "refined".  Generally, Stihl is easier starting (this is long run we are talking here, in the beginning they will be about even) and requires less upfront maintenance.  The Husky will take more abuse and seems to me to be a bit more responsive... faster low-high RPM.  Either is a great saw.  Haven't used an Echo, but heard good things about them (some say they are a Husky knockoff).  Other brands are hard to get parts and/or service for, don't hold up anymore (newer models).  Can't go wrong with Husky or Stihl...

Both use a lot of bar oil...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 21:16
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I have 3 Stihl saws. A 028 Super bought in 1985 with a 16'', and 20'' bar,
A 023 bought in 1999 with a 12'' bar, and a 038 Magnum bought in 2004 with a 24'' and 28'' bar.
Never had any trouble with any of them. The 023 is my work horse saw.

I use only Stihl chains. I run chisel chain, Rapid Super, on the big saws, and  Picco Micro on the 023.
All my chains have yellow paint on the links.

Stay away from the anti kick back chain. Painted green on the links. That chain is for novices.
Cuts like sh*t.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 21:30
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My dad has an Echo he keeps talking about, but it is loaned to a friend and he can't remember who at the moment.  He wants to track it down so I can use it for a while till I buy a saw.  He loves that saw.  Used it for 10 seasons cutting firewood and never had a problem.  Guess we will see if he can track it down.

I would like to get one of the Stihl or Husqvarnas before they put all that EPA junk on them.  I have heard that they are moving the 260 series to a 261 series by the end of the year with the new engines and cat exhausts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 21:31
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Forgot to add, I already told both dealers I would not buy the saw there if they don't take off the safety chains.  They said they would swap if for me if I decide to buy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/06/2010 at 06:36
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I have a Stihl 362 with several hundred hours on it and it runs great. It starts on a couple of pulls every time.
I also have an 042 that is over thirty years old. It is rougly the equilvalent of the 441 and is a beast. I used it to cut down a thirty foot boat house many years back. I like Stihl!
Friends that have Husky's like theirs, too.
 
Doug


Edited by tahqua - July/06/2010 at 10:02
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