Which chain saw?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. I go to many auctions and know I will be needing a chain saw in the near future. A good solid saw able to cut 6 or 8 cords year after year. I am looking for a saw that will last awhile AND has inexpensive or at least easy to find replacement parts. What would all you out there recommend and why?
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Everyone usually thinks their saw is the best or absolutely a lemon. But if you want a saw to please you and keep your wood pile high for many years get a new saw, and memorize the owners manuel.
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    From a man that owns 2 Husqvarnas I'll tell you to buy a Stihl. My Huskys are great but they were bought when Husky only sold through small engine dealers the way Stihl does.
     
  4. Walt K. in SW PA

    Walt K. in SW PA Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you get I highly recommend getting rid of the bar and chain it comes with and invest in a Total brand bar and chain.
     
  5. Ohiosteve

    Ohiosteve Well-Known Member

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    I have two Stihls and a Husky and I much prefer the Stihls. They seem to be better balanced and have more pep. One word of advise- don't buy a saw too large for your purpose. My lightweight Stihl 021 gets used much mor often than
    the larger Stihl or Husky. For cutting firewood you don't need a large saw.
    The best saw that I ever owned was a Sachs Dolmar. I'd still be using it if some
    low life hadn't stolen it from my truck :waa:
     
  6. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Stihl (around an 028), and the Husky Rancher.
     
  7. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

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    I agree about getting a new saw used saws at auctions have been sitting in a machine shed or garage for a couple of years or more and are a pain and are good for parts. Just last fall i took a couple of older homelite chainsaws that ran but needed minor work to my local stihl dealer and asked how much they would give me in trade and i came home with two brand new saws forabout the price of one. I got a farm boss model and a smallerone for trimming and i love them both and would recommend stihl to anyone. I am going to buy a new lawn trimmer one of these days
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For long term trouble free, buy new, not used.

    Stihl.

    --->Paul
     
  9. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    A chainsaw being sold at an auction isn't worth having.....unless you have an identical year/model chainsaw and can use it for parts.

    Auction chainsaws are generally 15 - 20 years old, haven't been started in years, and are better suited for use as boat anchors. Yes they may even run.....but its doubtful they will run for long. Chainsaw dealers likely won't have parts for them.....or they will be priced more than what you paid for the saw.

    Buy a new saw. Husqvarna, Stihl or Jonsereds. It will be reliable.....and given your pattern of use.....should last for 20 years.
     
  10. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI Well-Known Member

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    Stihl, have had the same saw since 76 and it still runs pretty good and cuts well. I figure over the years I have cut approximately 140 full cords of wood, cut to 16 inch lengths, with that saw, plus other projects such as brush etc.

    Never had a major problem all that time.
     
  11. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been looking for a chainsaw, too. Home Deport has Homelite, Poulan, and Echo. I noticed the Homelite and Poulan both had a motor life expected at 250 hours whereas the Echo was labeled as 1200 expected life hours. The echo costs $269 while the other 2 range from 99 to 169. Math alone would justify the Echo.

    Does anyone know about the "Echo" brand?

    I checked Ebay for Stihl, and it looks like they are selling for about $400. Jonsred was not for sale on Ebay. I couldn't spell the husq??? brand. There are some Echo saws on Ebay.
     
  12. gobug. Not finding a jonsered on ebay should tell you something.

    buy a jonsered for life.
     
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The big three, IMHO, are Husky, Jonsered, and Stihl. I would choose the brand that has the closest dealer/service center to where you live.

    The thing to watch out for is where these are made. It used to be that all Huskys and Jonseruds were made in Sweden and all Stihls were made in Germany. Nowadays, the lower end models (the ones sold for residential and weekend warrior use) are made elsewhere and do not have the same quality as they did a decade or so ago. Sooooo, my recommendation is to look at the saw, or ak the dealer, if it was made in Sweden or Germany before you purchase it.
     
  14. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    A little off topic,but the small electric mcculloch(sp) is real handy for trimming trees in the yard,cheap and works pretty good for the suburban homeowner.
    BooBoo
     
  15. Ramon

    Ramon Active Member

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    Stihl 26 if you want a keeper for the rest of your life. My neighbor has had one for 20 years (Stihl moved a 0 on the model #) on a big farm. They are tough through the meanest usage. No other brand compares. Take a look at all the road crews, pure Stihl equipment.
     
  16. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Echo is a Japanese saw. I wouldn't put them up there with Stihl, but they good saws. I don't know if they still do, but they used to be the only saw company that waranteed their electronics for life.

    As a side note, Echo is the motor used on the Mantis tiller, which some of you may have.
     
  17. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Few years ago now, I bought the biggest electric McCulloch to use in cutting out bunch of old partially rotted floor joists for a person and replacing the joists one by one without having to tear up the flooring/carpet etc. Couldnt use gas saw because of fumes in an enclosed space. Well it worked ok for that job. The next year my gas saw at time was giving me problems during firewood season so I got out the electric. Worked ok for while (this is a big electric saw) then fiber drive gear stripped its teeth. You couldnt get a replacement gear as McCulloch was in process of bankruptcy. The parts man said didnt matter that it would cost more for the gear than to buy another saw. Short of being able to machine a steel replacement gear, that ended life of that saw.

    Conclusion, even big electric saws are light duty only. Dont expect much. If you just need to occasionally trim branches get a manual pruning saw or a good quality bow saw.
     
  18. Michael83705

    Michael83705 Well-Known Member

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    I use it to build, cut firewood, get things into managable chunks and it ensures that my truck can make it all the way through a road. I use my saw all the time and depend on it. IT saves me a lot of money in lumber, time, heat and more. I have a Husky Rancher, which I bought new back in the day and have also used a lot of Stihls. I can say that these are wonderful saws. As far as Homelite, McCullough, Echo, Poulan and a couple of Craftsman's, I have used them and the amount of time wasted on them and the struggles to use them under hard use, well, they have cost me dearly in the past and I won't have them. Although they all don' cut it (hehe) IMO, the Homelites have been the worst for me.

    One thing I will say- if you are homesteading there are a few things that buying right will pay off immensily in the long run. A chainsaw is one of them IMO. I wouldn't buy from anyone except your local sawshop, who will faithfully service it for you. These days your best choices are a Stihl or Jonsered correctly sized, weighted and powered for your body and intended use. Your local sawshop can help you with all this.
     
  19. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Lot of newer name brand saws are cheap made consumer versions. Find the quality versions and Husky, Stihl, Johnsered, and Sachs are all good saws. I've had good experiences using older Husky and Stihl. I liked the Husky slightly better, but both good. Now these saws are pricey even used in good shape. However last winter I had read about Shindaiwa saws. Bought a $60 smaller version off ebay guarenteed to run perfect as a backup to my old Sears-Roper. Then couple days later seen a bigger 500 model being sold for parts. Got it for $5 plus around $10 shipping. Firgured I could at least use bar and chain for that price (they interchange). Well the 500 showed up first. Bar and chain was off but chain was very sharp. Odd. Tried pulling starting rope. It turned over easy enough but with compression. Ok, put gas and oil in it and installed the bar and chain. Started on second pull and sawed well and oiler worked. I didnt even have to adjust the carb. Its now my favorite saw ever. Just absolutely great saw and as heavy duty as any of older Stihls or Huskys. Starts easily hot or cold and rarely needs adjustments of any kind. I got the smaller $60 Shindaiwa and it ran nice also just smaller and little less powerful. Keep its chain sharp and it has plenty power to cut firewood though or at least anything that a 16inch chain can cut, I wouldnt put longer bar on it. Wouldnt have the power for it. The 500 now has plenty power for 20 inch bar although I prefer 16 inch bar. Unless you actually need longer bar, they just get in way and make sawing more dangerous and the chains/bars cost more. If I ever needed to buy another saw, I would look for another 500 in good shape. I still have active ebay search (in case I see another parts saw real cheap) and got email recently for a Shindaiwa 500 auction. This was listed as good clean saw running right all the way. Somebody got it for $150 plus shipping. I think they got a good deal. And to think all those years I wasted with crappy McCulloch 605/610's that were constant headache. Bought them new and paid good money too. Whatever you buy in way of a chainsaw, buy top quality if you use it for more than very light duty use. You wont regret it.