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Author Topic: Help me pick a saw  (Read 993 times)

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Offline Tinbeers

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Help me pick a saw
« on: April 16, 2018, 08:33:30 PM »
Hello everyone. I have been lurking here for about 2 weeks. Would like some information on some new saws I am looking at. I have a 70's model Stihl 028 with a 20" bar. I have used this saw for many years, my dad bought it new. I replaced the original bar with the 20" one about 15 years ago. It is still running pretty good for an old saw. Problem is, I am getting old and need a smaller saw to work up the tree tops and small stuff on the fence rows and ditch banks.. I cut wood for myself and have about 50 acres with lots of grown up fence rows and ditch banks. I have a list of small saws that a local dealer has for sale. Would yall look at this list and help me decide what would be a good small saw....#1 Dolmer PS 350 old color has 14" bar, #2 Gz 4000 redmax, #3 echo cs370, and #4 echo cs400. Both of the echo's and I think the redmax has 16" bars. I did ask about the echo 310 and he said he was currently out of them. Thanks for any help. He was pushing the echo brand, said he would make a good deal on the redmax and dolmar. Thanks.

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:13:44 PM »
Looking at the specs the ps 420 is the same weight as the ps 350 but has more cc and more hp, so unless he was going to give you a really good deal I'd pass on the ps 350. I think Home Depot has the Makita version of the Dolmar 42cc saw for $370. The Echo's will be cheaper but possibly made with a plastic case, I don't really know of the Red Max 400 looks like its a homeowner saw but the 4000 is listed as a pro saw. I'd say get the best saw you can afford. If you can or want to afford a pro saw it could last the rest of you life,  as pro saws are made to be rebuilt.
WD-40, DUCT TAPE, 024, 026, 362c-m, 041, homelite xl, JD 2510

Offline Tinbeers

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 10:43:31 AM »
He said he would give me a good deal on the dolmar, they were close outs and the new ones would be blue and say makita. I do believe he said 200 on the dolmar.

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 11:10:34 AM »
For $200 I would have walked out the door with it, the echo 310 is about that price a few less cc's, the echo cs 352 is about $250. How big of stuff are you cutting with it ? I have a stihl ms 180 that runs about the same 2hp as that Dolmar and its a good cutting little saw, providing I keep it in small wood say 2 - 6", after that I pickup a bigger saw. In a pinch it will cut a full bar but its slow even running the narrow kurf 3/8 p .043 chain.
WD-40, DUCT TAPE, 024, 026, 362c-m, 041, homelite xl, JD 2510

Offline Tinbeers

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 11:19:57 AM »
I will be cutting small stuff, no bigger than 6". I have the 028 for big stuff. Saw today that the local sthil dealer has ms 170 for 159.99. I have heard that the small sthil saws were junk but have no first hand experience.

Offline Woodcutter_Mo

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 01:46:16 PM »
 For the price, the ms170's are actually pretty good saws for what they are. They have their quirks but for cutting small dia stuff they do great and are plenty light. 
- WoodMizer LT25, Kohler, all manual, old "drag" style WoodMizer sharpener, cat claw single  setter
- Husqvarna 372XP X-Torque/24" bar, 455 Rancher X-Torque/20" bar, 550XP/20" bar, Stihl 024AV/18" Oregon speedcut
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 02:18:21 PM »
I have 3 MS170's.  Good saws for the money IMHO.  I got all mine used for about $100 each.  I changed out the bar to put on a more aggressive chain and as long as I keep it sharp, they fast enough in small stuff.  I won't check fence without one (or two).   ;)

Only frustration is if you take it to the dealer, a repair is almost the same price as a new 170.  The same repair bill looks better if it's for a $3-400 saw somehow.   ::)  :D  Learning to do my own repairs now.   8)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline knuckledragger

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 02:45:47 PM »
I have two ms170s, the first one I acquired in '02 and it still runs superbly. Outstanding saws both of them. Just keep in mind proper mix ratio with no ethanol 89minimum fuel. Keep the little guy blown out with compressed air after a good days use. Ms170 will last the rest of your life.

Offline Tinbeers

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 09:56:35 PM »
Guess I should go and look at the ms170. I have never owned any small engine that you couldn't adjust the carburetor on. Do you have any problems with the carbs? If you find a used saw around here it will be junk.

Offline Fishnuts2

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Re: Help me pick a saw
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 08:21:30 AM »
I'd stick with the saws you first listed, especially the Dolmar or Echo CS-400.  More power, smoother, and easy to start.  Plus, repairs are not a kings ransom.
Just my opinion of course, but I've had all the saws mentioned, and these are my favorites.


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