I need to buy a chainsaw for my husband . I was confused about finding information on the Internet, but there it is not enough. I found an article about stihl and husqvarna . Help me choose , please. Thank you.
Choosing a chainsaw can be one of the more difficult things a person will do in their life time. Some will say even more difficult than choosing a life partner.
My first chainsaw was a McCulloch mini mac about 50 years ago. I cut a lot of wood with it but don't remember overall how well I liked it over later brands that I have owned. Back then we had Ethel gasoline and had to mix our own fuel.
I currently own a Sthil TS510 Demolition saw that is probably at least 30 years old and a Sthil 028 about 25 years old Both are heavy but they were considered industrial machines.
My newest chainsaw is a Sthil MS170 about 3 years old fairly light weight or probably considered almost a medium weight.
All are still working real well I also only use pre mixed chainsaw fuel mostly because the gasoline we can get these days has already started to go bad before we buy it at the pump. even the premium grades higher octane does not contain long term stabilizers Never run the E85 pump gas as ethanol has a bad effect on the fuel systems of small engines. Pre mix fuel is expensive around $32.00 a gallon and may not be worth the extra cost in the long run If you can get really good quality premium gas without ethanol and are careful when mixing it may be OK I don't use it because I sometimes need to store my fuel for a few months and the 93 Octane pre mix fuel seems to serve that purpose
As far as Husqvarna goes A lot of professionals use them as well as Echo & Poulan I think a lot depends on personal choice and the availability of service or repair.
If you have a reputable small engine repair center near you, you might ask them if they will honsetly tell you which brand has the most frequent repair issues.
Here again it is going to depend a lot on how much your husband will be using his saw and for what. If he is just going to do the occasional trimming and limbing of smaller limbs up to 4" he may be better off with a CORDED electric. if he is going to do daily or weekly trimming then a battery powered may be a good choice.
If he is going to be cutting several cords of fire wood each fall then a 16 to 18" gas powered the 12 to 14" gas powered saws are mostly used for trimming and limbing
Care and maintenance as well as storage are a huge factor in how well a chainsaw of any make or brand preforms.Beyond that I can't not recommend which way you should go.
It all depends but a good general rule is buy a stihl.
If it will be used for cutting firewood or more than the average homeowner, get a stihl. Something in the 18" is a good universal length.
If it will be rarely used then something else might work.
I have a MS251 with 18" bar. It was probably in the $300-$350 price range. I have cut down several hundred trees with it (probably in the 700-800 range) while clearing cedar trees and clearing fence rows. There are advantages to buying a stihl (or echo) and you can buy parts for them. My huskavarna saw that I had before worked fine for a short while until i needed parts. Many of the cheaper saws are literally throw away.
Never ever use ethanol laced fuel as you will have problems with it. Just don't ever do it.
Why buy it if you can build it.
I 've owned a Stihl farm boss since 2010 and it is the best chainsaw I've ever owned. I cant speak for Husqvarna but I agree with what frank said....find out what is available locally and who services what brands and base your decision off of that. Any 2 stroke engine you buy will need to be serviced and break down so having parts locally is good when it gets to that point.
"I have not failed...I've just found 10,000 ways that wont work"
1. Decide if inexpensive or professional. Does he appreciate and enjoy the feel and function of a quality tool or if he doesn’t care or know the difference?
2. If cheap, buy a low cost “consumer” toy and be happy.
3. If your choice is “professional” . . .
A. Look at the diameter of the wood to be most likely cut. I don’t mean exceptions like a 2”-3” branch or that once-in-a-lifetime 34” pine. Just figure the average size of wood to be cut in your area.
B. Then buy 2 bars. One bar length to be close to (but not less than) the diameter you decided above and the other bar to be the longest that the manufacturer makes for that same saw model. Obviously, with matching chains. One bar will be used all the time and the other rarely. But when you need it the expense will be long forgotten and the convenience will be priceless!
C. Then get the highest HP you can find in that larger bar size from the manufacturer. Sometimes HP is not indicated. In that case get the largest cubic inch (or cc) for that model.
D. If possible determine the brand the pros are using in your area. Sometimes a saw shop gets a special discount on a brand and they will be pushing that. If you go into a store and everything is orange that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best locally. It only means the dealer makes the most profit on that brand. Call a tree company, or better yet, find out where their next job is and go there to see what the faller is using. Both Stihl and Husky are good saws but in your area there may be a better choice. A professional grade saw will have parts availability for many years and the joy of using it will last long after a “consumer” saw has been thrown away.
Last edited by Saltfever; 09-07-2018 at 08:49 PM.
Frank S (09-07-2018)
I had to buy three saws after Hurricane Irma. I learned a lot.
First thing to ask yourself: what type of saw do you need?
Cutting trees is very dangerous, and only about 0.001% of the population makes any effort to bone up on safety. While I was saw-shopping, I learned that you are never supposed to cut anything above shoulder height, and you should never use a ladder. To get around these safety problems, I bought an Echo pole saw. This is a small chainsaw attached to a pole. You can use it to cut things above shoulder height because it can't fall and hit you in the leg or foot. It's also safer than a regular saw when you use a ladder. Finally, if you're cutting a really scary tree, the pole saw will give you a six-foot head start when you run away.
For felling trees, you want a big saw. I got the biggest Echo Home Depot sells. It cuts like a light saber. Very fast. Unfortunately, big saws are heavy. They're the wrong tools for bucking (cutting up) downed trees, unless you're a powerlifter.
For bucking, I bought a 16" Jonsered. These things are made by Husqvarna. It was the only decent 16" saw available in my county on the day I bought it. It's much better for cutting limbs off and breaking logs into sections.
Obviously, there is some overlap. You can buck logs with a felling saw, and you can fell trees with a 16" saw. You should figure out what you'll be doing most of the time and buy something suited for it.
You will need files and file handles to sharpen your saw. Files come in different sizes, so make sure you get the right ones. Sharpen after every tank of gas. When the saw produces dust instead of chunks, it's dull.
If you're moving anything even a little bit heavy, get yourself a timberjack. This is a tool like a peavey. It will allow you to roll a 400-pound log over by yourself, and it will hold it off the ground while you cut it. Never let your saw's blade touch dirt.
Watch a lot of Youtube safety videos. Learn how to bore-cut so you don't get killed by a barber-chairing tree. Get a hardhat. Consider chaps. Get safety-toe boots. Wear ear plugs or muffs every time you start the saw.
Chainsaws will find a million ways to burn you. The blade can burn you. The muffler can burn you. Wear gloves when handling a hot saw, at least until you know what you're doing. Don't put gas in a hot saw.
Buy plastic wedges and a hatchet to drive them, and learn to use them. Otherwise, expect heavy trees to trap your saw all the time.
I wish someone had told me these things before I started sawing.
Chips O' Tool; all very valid points. 3 things a dull chain does it waists time fuel and energy for one another a dull chain heats up and can actually get hot enough to set the dust on fire. I was way out in the woods once without my file for some reason or I had lost it which ever. I was just about finished cutting up a downed very dry hard tree, fighting to make the last cut, when I noticed smoke coming from a pile of dried grass and leaves. I managed to put out the smoldering leaves before it became a fire. The other thing a dull chain does since it does heat up so much it can cause wear to the bar even with a good flow of bar oil the chain also will stretch and can wear the sprocket
I have a chain grinder and like to touch up the chains after every 3 or 4 tank fulls on it I also keep 3 spare chains in my case when they start to get too badly worn after several filings or grindings I toss them before they start to stretch one way for me to tell if my chain has stretched or worn too far is the amount of adjustment that has been used. I note the setting when the chain is new then when I have used half of the remaining I figure it is time for replacement. Chains are cheaper than replacing sprockets& bars. If my bar starts to have a rolled over edge on the cut side then it is time to replace it as well.
Like I said I have 1 saw that has been around for a very long time at least 25 years not all of those years as my saw
A little chain saw that I found tossed in the garbage.
I plugged it in and nothing. worked the blade brake back and forth several times and tried it again this time it worked I filled the bar oil res. then cut this limb the chain needs sharpening and adjusting but otherwise it did a fine job. I like electrics for trimming and have owned a few of the cheap ones
The McCuulloch Eager beaver electric 250 2.5 HP is not a real expensive one nor is it the cheapest. I rate them somewhere in the middle.
The limb I cut was a real challenge for any electric and some gas powered since it was fruitless Mulberry 14" diameter
Last edited by Frank S; 09-10-2018 at 10:09 PM.
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