Chain saw recommendations?

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Bkeepr
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Location: West-central Maryland

Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Bkeepr » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:50 pm

I've got a very nice Stihl with an 18" bar that I use a lot. Problem is I've had several trees come down recently that are very large (and a few more that will come down before long), and I'd like to get a larger saw to supplement my current one. I'm thinking something like 24" is probably big enough to handle the biggest trees, but not so large that I can't use it enough to make the purchase worthwhile.

I like my Stihl, but frankly if I can find something that is good to very good (meaning it doesn't have to be perfect) at half the price I'd be really happy.

Any suggestions on current manufacturers, models, or bar sizes?

Red Dave
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Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Red Dave » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:09 pm

I have an Echo I bought over 35 years ago. Still starts easy and runs great. No idea on current price comparisons though.

I also have no idea how current brands of chainsaws compare, like I said, it's been 35 years since I bought one. I do know that the serious outdoor equipment dealers around here all sell either Echo or Stihl, a few sell both. I imagine that the big box stores (WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) would have other brands that might be cheaper.

Just remember; there is nothing more useless or more aggravating than a chainsaw that starts hard. I had one of them, it is why I bought the Echo way back then. It was easy starting.

Bkeepr
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:23 am
Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Bkeepr » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:07 pm

Thanks, Dave. I had an Echo weed whacker from that era that just died a year or so ago. I bought it on recommendation of a friend who repairs small engines for a living...but he told me a couple of years ago that Echo was bought out, and he wasn't sure the quality was going to be maintained. I haven't heard anything since, but will definitely look into the Echos now as a possibility. Thanks.

PHPaul
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Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by PHPaul » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:38 pm

Stihl, Echo, Dolmar, Husky, Jonsereds. No idea how the prices compare but you'll be happy with any of them.

What size is your current Stihl? Could you just put a 24" bar and chain on it?

I would SERIOUSLY recommend staying away from Poulan. The last one I had is residing somewhere in the beaver swamp on the West end of my property. As far from shore as I could wind up and heave it, and I was a LOT younger at the time.

Most of the various no-name saws (Sears, "Wild Thang" and others) are Emerson/Poulan with a different color of paint. Homelite and McCulloch are not the saws you remember from when you were a kid either. Wouldn't give you a quarter for a trainload of any of them.

Bkeepr
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:23 am
Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Bkeepr » Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:03 pm

thanks, Paul. I thought about putting a longer bar on the Stihl, but it already has the longest one that Stihl recommends (18").

Normally I'd cut from both sides and meet in the middle, but a couple of the larger trees I'm working on are sort of hanging and I'd rather stay on the uphill side of them when I cut through, and 18" bar won't let me do that. I'm sure I can figure something out, but after breaking ribs a couple of years ago while chainsawing, I figure I'll spend the money on a longer bar and avoid the risk.

Thanks for the list of brands, I can shop around now with a little more confidence than I had. I like the Stihl, but the one they recommend is priced at $620, so if I can find something else for less I'll do so happily.

Sid
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Location: SW MO

Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Sid » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:32 pm

For what it is worth we have a Stihl and Dolmar. Like them both. Years ago when I lived in the great north west Poulan had a good name and I bought one. It was a good saw and It lasted me a long time. It was stolen. By that time Wal Mart was selling them, that should have told me something but I bought one anyway. So I agree with Fawteen on Poulan. The others he named have a good reputation around here. I understand Dolmar is sold under the Makita name, same saw same color.

Bkeepr
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:23 am
Location: West-central Maryland

Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Bkeepr » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:38 am

Thanks, Sid, it is worth a lot to me.

One thing I've noticed is that--even with the name brands--there's about a 7-10% of folks who rate their chainsaws very low (1 star out of 5) because of some major problem(s). And many times you can read 1-star reviews of other products and see that the author is an idiot, but with the chain saws that doesn't seem to hold true. The reported problems with chain saws often seem to be believable, and not the result of the owner/user/author stupidity. And 10% is a pretty big risk of getting junk (and no help from the manufacturer) when you're shelling out $600+ for a name brand.

So I am starting to feel paralyzed--maybe the $200 option for a "throwaway" is not so bad. Or maybe it is...geeze, I'm getting like an old woman. :lol: :x

PHPaul
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Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by PHPaul » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:45 am

Bkeepr, ALL the brands sell low-end, homeowner quality saws. People buy a Stihl thinking they're getting a logger-tough saw for $200 and then bitch when they get what they paid for.

If you spend less than say...$400... for a saw, you're going to get a light duty, occasional use limbing saw that will NOT stand up to heavy work, no matter whose name is on it.

Jim in RP
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Location: Negros Island

Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by Jim in RP » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:12 am

PHPaul wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:38 pm
I would SERIOUSLY recommend staying away from Poulan. The last one I had is residing somewhere in the beaver swamp on the West end of my property. As far from shore as I could wind up and heave it, and I was a LOT younger at the time.
Isn't that why it is named PULL_ON? If you PULL_ON it fast the chain might start to rotate. :x My second wife gave it to me for Christmas, 1977. I often though of using it on her. :twisted: 8-)
Only The Dead Have Seen The end of WAR. "Plato"

PHPaul
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Re: Chain saw recommendations?

Post by PHPaul » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:31 am

Jim in RP wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:12 am
Isn't that why it is named PULL_ON? If you PULL_ON it fast the chain might start to rotate. :x My second wife gave it to me for Christmas, 1977. I often though of using it on her. :twisted: 8-)
I pronounced it " pullin' " but yeah, same idea. Miserable sonofabitch to start and when it was running it wouldn't pull a sick whore off a cold pisspot.

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