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Author Topic: Recommend small saw for older guy?  (Read 3491 times)

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Offline John Mc

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Recommend small saw for older guy?
« on: April 13, 2018, 11:25:06 AM »
I have a friend who is in his 70s, and a smaller, wiry guy. He's in good shape for a guy his age, but as he says, he's not getting any younger. He's well versed in engines (restores antiques engines) and takes good care of his equipment.

He has a 35 or 38cc Jonsered that has given him nothing but trouble for several years (and he hates the tool-less tensioning system on it). He is going to retire that saw (maybe keep it as a backup).

He mostly putters about on his 10+ acres keeping trails clear and harvesting some of his own firewood. It's mostly smaller trees, so the 16" bar and 35-38cc have been fine for him. As he put it, "it cuts what I need it to cut... when it's running".

He is strongly leaning toward Husqvarna. A pro-level saw is not in the budget - and really, his usage is light enough that he can't really justify the expense anyway. Weight is something he is concerned about.

I was thinking of recommending he look at a Husqvarna 440 (I think you can get these without the tool-less tensioner - can someone confirm that?). He did not really seem interested in looking at Stihl, though he might change his tune if there was a really good reason (i.e. something more compelling than just the usual "Stihl rules"/"Husky rules" argument.)
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline woodsdog2015

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 12:20:57 PM »
Unfortunate he isn't interested in Stihl because I would highly recommend my MS251 with the .325 yellow chain, its a very nice saw for the money, light and nimble, responsive and won't rob the bank.  I have really beat on mine too and I cannot complain.  It has more spunk then the older and more intrepid MS250 but that's a great saw too.  Also, I was just watching this youtube video the other night and the NEW Stihl MS201C looks like a real cool saw.  You can put a bigger bar on it too and its light and seems like it would do what your buddy needs a good saw to do. 

I'd rather be in the woods.
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 01:44:27 PM »
Echo 310. light weight and powerful.
Multitek 1610EZ, TimberKing 2000 & Talon Sharpener,
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Offline starmac

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 02:13:58 PM »
It has been a couple of years, but my husky dealer told me that if I wanted a small cheaper saw, to just go get an ecco, and he stocks the small huskys.
He claimed they are cheaper, just as well built as the small huskys, and he does the warranty work on them anyway.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline woodsdog2015

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 02:52:35 PM »
So an update on the Stihl 201C, for S's & G's I called a dealer in my area and the price of that saw is around $710-$730!!!! Whew!  He said he doesn't even stock these as they just wouldn't move at that price point.... even with his commercial customers.  He told me an MS 241 is in the mid $500 USD range.  It is a cool saw though.  
I'd rather be in the woods.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 03:00:50 PM »
So an update on the Stihl 201C, for S's & G's I called a dealer in my area and the price of that saw is around $710-$730!!!! Whew!  He said he doesn't even stock these as they just wouldn't move at that price point.... even with his commercial customers.  He told me an MS 241 is in the mid $500 USD range.  It is a cool saw though.  
Which is one of the reasons he's just not going for a pro-level saw. He certainly appreciates well-made equipment, he just can't justify the cost for his light use.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline John Mc

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 03:12:29 PM »
Unfortunate he isn't interested in Stihl because I would highly recommend my MS251 with the .325 yellow chain, its a very nice saw for the money, light and nimble, responsive and won't rob the bank.
 

I agree the MS250/251 might be a nice saw for him (though it is about a pound heavier than the alternatives he's looking at).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 05:46:30 PM »
The Echo cs 352 is under 9lbs, 34cc it was going to purchase one before I was given a stihl ms 180. Does he have any problems pull starting things? The ms 180 I have has the ez-start to it but has the stupid tool less chain tensioner. It has a counter wound spring to it so all you have to do is pull the cord out and when you are near the end of the cord it automatically cranks the motor over a few times.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 06:46:23 PM »
   My wife has one of the EZ start Sthil 180 and loves it. She can't pull one hard enough or fast enough to crank but this works fine for her. I use it for trimming board ends and light work around the shop and it is a very nice little saw.
Howard Green
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Offline wild262

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2018, 09:42:21 PM »
For a small saw under 50cc, I would recommend a Echo 360P.  Weights 8.5 lbs.  35cc and shares the same motor as the 355T which is proven.  Retail is 389.00  On Echo's customer appreciation day's going on right now, he can take 20% off that.  I bought one and love it.  I have a bad back and knee.  And this saw is a joy to cut with. ;D

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 10:58:45 PM »
MS200T.  At his age being light and powerful will really pay off. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline knuckledragger

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2018, 11:03:10 PM »
Ms170 is one of best saws I own/have owned. $179 I believe. I got my first one of the 170s in '02 and I still have that saw and it runs good. The ms170 is a Floyd Mayweather Jr. saw. Lite,quick, and has a good punch.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2018, 11:13:36 PM »
Mike, the MS200T, now the 201, is not a good choice for the consumer. It is the best on the market for the professional arborist but the top handle is downright dangerous in inexperienced hands and probably beyond his budget. If he wants to stay with Husky the 440 is a good choice but bang for the buck the small Echo's are very hard to beat.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline wild262

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 11:21:57 PM »
Mike, the MS200T, now the 201, is not a good choice for the consumer. It is the best on the market for the professional arborist but the top handle is downright dangerous in inexperienced hands and probably beyond his budget. If he wants to stay with Husky the 440 is a good choice but bang for the buck the small Echo's are very hard to beat.

I agree.  Echo's are one of the easiest starting saws I have owned.  A lot of other people will tell you the same thing.  Two pulls and mine is running.  This guy doesn't want a Stihl, and not a "pro" saw at that.  :)

Offline starmac

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 12:10:18 AM »
Has he looked at the newer electric saws?? They keep getting better, and I keep getting older, so they are looking better all the time.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 02:29:13 AM »
I have an assortment of saws, Husky, stihl, and echo, and the one I usually grab is the echo 370, purchased at a Box store on sale for less than $200 over 6 years ago. cut a lot fir and hard juniper fire wood, is light and with a 14" or 16" bar works great.  I will buy another when this one dies. 

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2018, 06:14:13 AM »
John,I am 71 and I have a 42 cc Dolmar that is light and cuts very well.I use it for everything felling,limbing and bucking smaller logs for firewood.I couldn't be happier with it.Starts very easy.I bought mine off Ebay.There is a dealer in Sheffield Vt.,Chainsawr,didn't know about him until after the purchase.
Mick
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2018, 11:21:13 AM »
I suppose kickback is an issue with a tophandle in a new users hands, which the OP did not mention.  He said he was elderly and small, not inexperienced or lacking competence.  I dont know the man and am going by the description given.  If he has lived this long with a saw i presume its because he knows how to use it. 


I feel 3 times safer in the tree and on the ground with a tophandle.  Its small and light, gives me the free hand that so often saves me from a fall when im climbing around in the tangle, dicing up tops.  I also get wacked in the face much less and never let limbs pile up to trip me because i grab and throw each one with the free hand as im cutting.  I just cant go back to trim up work with a 2 hander now.   But i admit, you gotta be real aware and have a firm grip with a top handle to keep it from cartwheeling out of your hand and climbing you. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2018, 12:05:00 PM »
And there lies the problem with a top handle. If it is operated with one hand there is no control over kickback, the brake can't be engaged. I refused to sell one to a consumer. In Britain anyone covered by compensation is not allowed to use one on the ground, rear handle only.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline starmac

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Re: Recommend small saw for older guy?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2018, 12:25:10 PM »
I have never used a top handle, but have used small saws one handed much like what Mike is talking about, I would think the top handles would be much safer, myself.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.


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