Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Chain Saw recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,462

    Chain Saw recommendations

    For the past 20 years I've gotten by with a cheap electric chainsaw (Remington brand I think), which has worked well for the few storms and shrub cleanup. But having about 20 trees now to trim up every year and planning to buy some more land in the next few years, I'd like to get a gas powered one. My budget is in the $150 to $350 range, maybe a little. Just curious what brands you all have and what features about the saws you have you like/don't like.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,701
    Stihl or husqvarna, pick one that has a local dealer both are decent saws although there is a lot of Ford vs Chevy type talk about them. If you can afford to go up into the ranch or pro lines from the homeowner lines in any way possible (skip a few lattes out, save for a few more months, ...) it's well worth it. The ranch models are into the upper end of your price range, but decent chainsaws just aren't cheap (I've been eyeballing a small chainsaw mill but the saw alone is likely north of a grand). The pro models are closer to double your upper budget so that's likely out. Figure something with 50cc or more in the powerhouse to run an adequately sized bar, my 372xp husky has 70cc which is about right for a 24", I could get by at 28 or maybe 30 if I was careful not to push it to hard (recommended 28" max) and it's around 70cc, I've used all of it on occasion and a few times wanted a little more (really three saws would be nice, a smaller one for limbing and small work and another for the really big stuff ).

    For your budget and needs probably a husky 450 rancher is probably the best fit. If there isn't a local husky dealer but there is a stihl dealer see if you can talk them down on a ms271 farm boss.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    I'll echo Ryan. Stihl or Husqvarna, from a local dealer, not the Borg. The dealer can provide advice and service that is worth the extra money spent by shopping at the little guy's place. When I bought my Stihl, I went to a dealer that sold both (plus Echo and a few others) and asked for his recommendation. He told me both were great saws, but most of the local pros were using Stihl chainsaws, and that he had a better, faster parts supply line with Stihl than with Husqvarna. He also said that in other parts of the country the story could be the exact opposite, with Husqvarna being the better choice. As a side note, a couple of years later I wanted a pro-level string trimmer, and I went to the same shop, planning to buy a Stihl. The dealer talked me into an Echo instead, citing the same reasons he used when he talked me into the Stihl chainsaw. That trimmer is another one of my "makes me smile every time I use it" tools, just like my chainsaw.

    I'll also second Ryan's recommendation to spend a bit more money and get model that's in a grade above the low-end consumer levels. In the long run, it'll save you money, and you'll thank yourself every time you use the saw. My first chainsaw was a Poulan from Home Depot. It worked OK for about a year, but it was a chore to use and eventually got to where it was hard to keep running. So I dropped about $600 on a Stihl MS390 and have had no regrets at all. Here again, I went with the dealer's advice for help in pickout out the model. I explained my needs, and he suggested the MS series -- Stihl's mid-grade line. It was the biggest engine in that line, and about $150 less than the same-sized pro model. The dealer said that for my frequency of use, the mid-line would still last me a lifetime, and unless I really wanted the few ounces lighter weight that the pro line offered, I should use the extra money on something else (like protective gear). I equipped it with both a 18" and a 24" bar. I should never have to replace it in my life, and it just simply works when I need it to. And man, will it eat wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Stihl or husqvarna, pick one that has a local dealer both are decent saws although there is a lot of Ford vs Chevy type talk about them. If you can afford to go up into the ranch or pro lines from the homeowner lines in any way possible (skip a few lattes out, save for a few more months, ...) it's well worth it. The ranch models are into the upper end of your price range, but decent chainsaws just aren't cheap (I've been eyeballing a small chainsaw mill but the saw alone is likely north of a grand). The pro models are closer to double your upper budget so that's likely out. Figure something with 50cc or more in the powerhouse to run an adequately sized bar, my 372xp husky has 70cc which is about right for a 24", I could get by at 28 or maybe 30 if I was careful not to push it to hard (recommended 28" max) and it's around 70cc, I've used all of it on occasion and a few times wanted a little more (really three saws would be nice, a smaller one for limbing and small work and another for the really big stuff ).

    For your budget and needs probably a husky 450 rancher is probably the best fit. If there isn't a local husky dealer but there is a stihl dealer see if you can talk them down on a ms271 farm boss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I'll echo Ryan. Stihl or Husqvarna, from a local dealer, not the Borg. The dealer can provide advice and service that is worth the extra money spent by shopping at the little guy's place. When I bought my Stihl, I went to a dealer that sold both (plus Echo and a few others) and asked for his recommendation. He told me both were great saws, but most of the local pros were using Stihl chainsaws, and that he had a better, faster parts supply line with Stihl than with Husqvarna. He also said that in other parts of the country the story could be the exact opposite, with Husqvarna being the better choice. As a side note, a couple of years later I wanted a pro-level string trimmer, and I went to the same shop, planning to buy a Stihl. The dealer talked me into an Echo instead, citing the same reasons he used when he talked me into the Stihl chainsaw. That trimmer is another one of my "makes me smile every time I use it" tools, just like my chainsaw.

    I'll also second Ryan's recommendation to spend a bit more money and get model that's in a grade above the low-end consumer levels. In the long run, it'll save you money, and you'll thank yourself every time you use the saw. My first chainsaw was a Poulan from Home Depot. It worked OK for about a year, but it was a chore to use and eventually got to where it was hard to keep running. So I dropped about $600 on a Stihl MS390 and have had no regrets at all. Here again, I went with the dealer's advice for help in pickout out the model. I explained my needs, and he suggested the MS series -- Stihl's mid-grade line. It was the biggest engine in that line, and about $150 less than the same-sized pro model. The dealer said that for my frequency of use, the mid-line would still last me a lifetime, and unless I really wanted the few ounces lighter weight that the pro line offered, I should use the extra money on something else (like protective gear). I equipped it with both a 18" and a 24" bar. I should never have to replace it in my life, and it just simply works when I need it to. And man, will it eat wood.
    Ditto and ditto, the only thing I'd add is that Shindaiwa is also a very good brand.
    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726
    I have a Husqvarna 55 rancher. It's the 455 rancher now. I've had it close to 20 year and cut a lot of wood with it. The only problem I've had is the ignition module went out about 4 years ago. I replaced it myself and it's been fine since. My FIL and BIL both run Stihl and theirs have been good saws. The 455 rancher and the Stihl MS 271 FARM BOSS are in the 350 to 400 range.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wapakoneta, OH
    Posts
    611
    Chain saw brands have evolved and sometimes degraded (or disappeared) over the years. In 1970 I bought McCulloch 14", and I still have and use it to this day. But they are some others have went belly up, and the only two I would consider anymore are the Stihl and Husqvarna brands. I picked up a Stihl 20" (used) and now have it with the smaller one....I just hope it lasts as long. About the only features I care about is a safety brake for kickback type accidents, auto chain oiler, and that they start easily. Both of mine do (the easy start) even when they've been in storage a while, and I used one once without an auto oiler which convinced me to never buy one like that.
    I long for the days when Coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard; 1939-2016)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    Don't forget to leave coin for the safety gear.
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Ditto and ditto, the only thing I'd add is that Shindaiwa is also a very good brand.
    Cheers!
    My lawn tractor and small engine mechanic mentioned the Shindaiwa... I had him working on my Husquvarna clone (Crapsman) that wouldn't start and he recommended getting one. In his opinion it the better of the three saws.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Ellis View Post
    My lawn tractor and small engine mechanic mentioned the Shindaiwa... I had him working on my Husquvarna clone (Crapsman) that wouldn't start and he recommended getting one. In his opinion it the better of the three saws.
    Sounds like he's a dealer that's geared up to service Shindaiwa. They are indeed great saws, but it's important to get something your local guy can service.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,462
    After looking at some of the features, I'm leaning towards a Stihl, but we have two local dealers that carry both, not far to go for more dealers around here. I've bought my zero from one of the locals, and my weed wacker from the other, both seem to have good service, so will see which can give a better deal. Might even see if I can get one to throw in the carbide tooth chains.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

Similar Threads

  1. Who Needs A Chain saw?
    By Dan Mooney in forum Old Iron
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-28-2015, 01:56 PM
  2. No my Chain Saw but
    By Don Baer in forum New Tools
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-07-2015, 07:27 PM
  3. Chain saw chain charpener
    By Chuck Ellis in forum New Tools
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 12-09-2010, 05:17 AM
  4. New chain saw
    By Steve Southwood in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-07-2010, 06:08 PM
  5. do I need a new chain saw?
    By Frank Fusco in forum New Tools
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-10-2009, 03:21 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •