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Author Topic: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand  (Read 5404 times)

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Offline shootingarts

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First, while I have passed through now and then for years, if I ever had a membership it is forgotten and I have created a new account. I'm far from a professional but I have ran a chainsaw as needed for a few decades. A lot of trimming and storm clean-up, felled probably a couple dozen trees 20" to 36" diameter four feet from the ground, countless smaller trees clearing small pieces of land. Had gotten pretty comfortable with hinges and laying trees where I wanted them but injuries and electronics in my side have kept me from running a chainsaw for eight years or so. New hardware in me, now I can run a saw again so it is time to figure out what I am looking for.

I am turning bowls and hollow vessels on a lathe now and this has me cutting a lot of dried logs and also ripping a good bit. Normally two cuts are made the length of the block an inch or so each side of the pith so lots of noodling. Most of my wood is free so I don't get much choice as to if it is from a healthy green tree or very old and dry.

If Sandy Claus is nice my first choice is a 441 or 461 I believe. However I am not locked into a brand and am interested in any saw that will perform similarly with a 20-25 inch bar. Not picky if the saw is new or used in good shape so I would welcome suggestions of what to keep an eye out for in the used market too.

I do plan to use different chains or different chains and bars for felling and blocking but one of my biggest concerns is being able to get plenty of oil on the bar with a 20" or 24" bar. I prefer a 24" inch bar mainly to minimize bending over when limbing trees after they are down.  Even halving log sections I won't often have 24" of bar near buried or buried. Saw will be used several days a month, often several days a week.

Please recommend saws based on performance being within 10-15% of the 441 with a 20-24" bar, not necessarily a very close match in engine size. Also consider how effective the oiling is. I hope to get a saw rated to use a longer bar just on the theory that it is likely to have better oiling than a saw that is maxed out on bar length. That may not always be true and I would appreciate comments on chain oilers. Plenty of oil to the chain and sprocket are very close to the top of my list of priorities and a little hard to find information on.

Thanks for any and all replies!

Hu

Offline sharkey

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 04:27:31 PM »
It seems the older I get the lighter the saw I want to run.  I think you would be quite happy with a 441.  Maybe look for a new or demo 'left over' 440 which would be my first choice in the Stihl line.  In the 70cc Husky line its the 372 or 576, either would be good.  The Husky 562 is quite popular, but there have been some computer problems and Im a little afraid of that myself.  Even Echo is stepping it up with their new 600p so you have some pretty good choices available.  Comes down to who is around to help if there is a problem.         

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 04:31:46 PM »
Modern Stihl saw are notorious for not pumping out as much oil as most other brands. With that said, both saws you listed will oil a 24" bar more than adequately. I would say a 441's best at home running a bar and chain 28" and under, a 461 would be OK up to 32". Something to keep in mind is the fact Stihl offers a high output oil pump for both saw, the easiest way to get the HO pump is to buy the wrap handlebar version of either saw.

Now if you want a different brand you have some options. Husky 576xp, 390xp and the Dolmar 7910 would me my alternative recommendations.
Andre.

Offline Fatcougar

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 08:03:03 PM »
Hi Shootingarts'
Andyshine is exactly right about the HO pump. I have a brand new 461R (Wrap handle) with a 32 inch bar. It has the HO pump and at a middle setting has no problem keeping the bar and chain oiled. If you crank the oiler to max with the HO pump , it will actually empty the oil reservoir before you run out of fuel, so you need to aware of that fact if there were some reason to set the oiler that high. At a medium setting, they seem about perfectly balanced on my saw right now.
 You can tell if it is an HO pump or not by looking at the adjustment screw on the oiler, if it has an extra cross mark stamped on the face of the screw, it is an HO pump.  :)FC.
Fatcougar
Stihl 461-R
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Offline WOJO

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 08:35:36 PM »
I have an older husqvarna 372xp that I run with a 24" bar with a full comp chain and it pulls it very well and has no oiling issues. I also have a 390xp that I like to run with a 32" bar and a skip chain. If you decided to go with husqvarna the older 372xp will serve you well. I'm sorry but I don't know much about the newer 372's with the decompression button on top. I have heard some pros and cons about those ones.
NE 346XP 18" bar, 372 XP 20" bar, 390 XP 24"bar

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 07:37:42 PM »
I have an older husqvarna 372xp that I run with a 24" bar with a full comp chain and it pulls it very well and has no oiling issues. I also have a 390xp that I like to run with a 32" bar and a skip chain. If you decided to go with husqvarna the older 372xp will serve you well. I'm sorry but I don't know much about the newer 372's with the decompression button on top. I have heard some pros and cons about those ones.

The new 372 X-torque has had some issues, I'd look at the 576 first. Yes the old 372's were at home with a 24" B&C, best 70cc saw ever made IMHO.
Andre.

Offline shootingarts

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thank you all!
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 08:32:11 PM »
This is exactly what I was looking for, which saws compared performance wise. I can look at cc's but that still leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

Great to know how to ID the hi output oil pump too. One question about it, anybody know how much the HO pump costs for the 441 or 461 if I were to buy one off the shelf to swap out?

Hopefully I will find one new or used with the original wrap bar and HO oiler, if not I would probably be more comfortable swapping it out.

Thanks to all that have responded so far, all very helpful!

Hu

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 02:48:27 AM »
You don't even need to replace the whole pump, just the control bolt and piston pump as Stihl calls it, think it was like $40 for both parts.
Andre.

Offline Ianab

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 03:29:35 AM »
Got a Dolmar dealer locally?

PS-7910 is a good saw. Rated for a 32" bar, same weight as a 441, but 79cc, so a bit more power. Worth a look if you want an alternative.

The Husky 372XP is another of those "good" saws in that range.

Often it comes down to what your favourite dealer sells. Any of those saws will "get the job done".

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Saw Dr.

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 06:49:30 AM »
If you are going to get a Stihl, the 441 will do everything you want.  Make sure you get one that says 441C on the side.  That is the M-tronic version with electronic carb (you DO want this.)  The ONLY reason I would say to hold off on the 461 is that is does not have the M-tronic (yet) and that is just some really good stuff.  Stihl is gradually moving all of their more expensive saws to this technology, and the 461 is bound to get sometime.  The oil pump parts are, in fact, around $40 to upgrade.  If you buy new, just get the western version and you are all set. 

If you like Orange better, 576 XP-AT is the way to go.  The 576 Auto-Tune system is one you hear very few complaints about. 
I don't try to explain to others why I play with chainsaws.  For those who already know, no explanation is needed.  For those who do not, no explanation is POSSIBLE!

Super 250

Offline rburg

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 07:22:37 AM »
If you do lots of noodling, a wide discharge clutch cover will help your saw as you noodle. I have one on my ms 440 and my 365xt and they definitely clog less while noodling.

Offline shootingarts

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 10:12:52 AM »
Thanks for the additional info! The oil pump parts being forty bucks is very nice to know, if I buy one without the HO pump I know the upgrade is cheap.

I definitely do need the wide discharge cover too, already discovered how fun it ain't to have to unpack noodles in the cover. Had to take it off a couple of times to free the chain on the toy saw I have.

Pretty much decided to ignore it but a 6400 is for sale at a very good price. A bit of a ride but it would be about $125 including the half tank of gas needed to go fetch it. The muffler is still shiny silver, looks to have very little run time on it. Thinking about running it until the first of the year then if I'm not happy with it, put the 7900 piston and cylinder on it.

Health issue may keep me from making the trip and I really have a Stihl/Husky itch. I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at the Dolmar but the three hour round trip to goose chase is a little discouraging. Guess I'll call on it tomorrow and see if it is still there.

Hu

Offline mad murdock

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2013, 10:37:44 AM »
Not sure where you are located, but if thinkng used, I would not rule out a McCulloch SP81E or PM800/805. Those are some powerful saws in a small package that can pull a 42" B/C. Dressed with a 25" bar they would be incomparable!
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline shootingarts

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had a few mac's liked them
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2013, 11:02:35 AM »
I have owned or ran a few McCulloch saws over the years, liked them and they worked well for me. I'm looking for a quality saw and like most folks on a fixed income a bit light on jingle in my pocket. I would be fine with a pro grade Mac. I just get hopelessly confused with all of the model numbers for all the different brands and I don't want to buy a saw that I can't run all day on the days I am running a saw or can't get parts for if it needs them. Manufacturers like Poulan that put "pro" on the side of everything they sell don't help me any!

I'll note the Mac models you mentioned. I am well up into farm country in southeast Louisiana and may run up on a big older Mac. I remember when it was the brand of saw to have.

Hu

Offline qbilder

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 11:58:00 AM »
Maybe since you are brand loyal, support what your local shop deals. I personally prefer to not have the hassle of tinkering too much with my saws (unless I just want to) so these are things I like to consider. My local shop is indispensable as they always have what I need on hand, or the knowledge to repair anything I screw up. If I were using Huskies, it wouldn't be like that. My shop sells Stihl and keeps a huge inventory of Stihl parts, so it makes sense for me to use Stihl. If my shop dealt with Husky then I would likely be using Husky saws. Good saws are comparable, regardless of brand. What matters to me is convenience of service & parts.   
God bless our troops

Offline shootingarts

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got lucky!
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2013, 04:04:42 PM »
I think I have a saw to get me going. Saw one on Craigslist Saturday. It was at a pawn shop about an hour and a half drive away. Kinda discouraging, I'm looking three score birthdays in the face in another year or two and never found anything but vastly overpriced junk at a pawn shop.

Went and took a look anyway, a Makita 6401. By the time I added fuel for the trip and tax in the saw cost me about $120 to my door. One plus, a no hassle return policy if I am unhappy for any reason in the first thirty days. Got the saw home and dumped the old gas out which actually smelled pretty good. Put my premium no ethanol mixed gas in it and the saw started on the second pull.

Gonna just run it for a few months except probably muffler mod's. Somewhere along the line I will try my hand at a working saw port job since I'll be thinking about the 7900 P&C eventually so If I booger the original cylinder at that point no real harm done.

The image is as purchased, a little honest dirt and oil on it but it doesn't look neglected. Air cleaner is very clean. I have only ran it about a minute, had to recut a stob on a pear tree just because it was the only thing to test on spur of the moment.

It is smoking very heavily from the exhaust at the moment, Not too concerned about that. I'll be inquiring if it doesn't clear up in a tank or two though. Burbles a little at idle, sounds fine once the RPM is cranked up a bit. I will probably pull the muffler soon just to see what the piston and cylinder wall looks like but this looks to be a low hour saw.

I have to use satellite out here for the internet and they slow it way down when I exceed my monthly cap. I'm in that mode right now so couldn't watch the how to post pictures videos. Hopefully I have the image down small enough and it attaches. I did create an album and get the picture in it I believe. (edit: for some reason I am not attaching the picture. This is the link to the Craigslist ad with pictures. I'll be able to watch the video in a few days and I'll edit to embed the picture properly.) http://batonrouge.craigslist.org/grq/4167840181.html

I always seem cursed as far as quality local dealers and shops on anything I buy so I assume I'll have to rely on internet suppliers and information regardless of chainsaw brand. A former mechanic and racing mechanic that has done a fair amount of gunsmithing, I generally get by. Haven't worked much on two cycle engines but I figure they aren't that complicated. Famous last words of a fool?

Lots of good advice in this thread and somehow I figure I will be able to get out from underneath this saw without losing too much if I want to sell it to purchase another brand later. My guess is this saw is a keeper unless I stumble on exactly what I want at a very good deal. Time will tell, that may be what I have already done.

Thanks to everyone!
Hu

Offline mad murdock

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2013, 05:39:36 PM »
Being down in Lousiana, I would keep a look out for older Poulan pro, 655 would be the ultimate, but other models to consider would be 5200, 4500 to name a few. Very good saws. Not like the newer Poulan pro throw aways you see nowadays. Even a Homelite 650 or 750 would be a good saw.
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline shootingarts

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Re: hello, and looking for saw comparisons, 441, 461, similar saws any brand
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 08:42:43 PM »
Being down in Lousiana, I would keep a look out for older Poulan pro, 655 would be the ultimate, but other models to consider would be 5200, 4500 to name a few. Very good saws. Not like the newer Poulan pro throw aways you see nowadays. Even a Homelite 650 or 750 would be a good saw.


The old Homelites and Poulans were just fine. Not knowing model numbers was my biggest irritation, have to chase down the information on each model as I stumble across it. Gonna run this Makita/Dolmar for awhile and after running it a little more today it will get the 7900 P&C after the first of the year unless I find a lot of umph between now and then.

I'm afraid I am getting into CAD trouble from the jump, I just naturally like old saws, old iron of any kind. Can't forget I turned down two of the big bow saws a neighbor decided he didn't want anymore many years ago. Started to buy them just as go cart motors if nothing else, $50 each in the mid-eighties complete and in good shape.

Hu


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