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Author Topic: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?  (Read 3278 times)

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Offline alan gage

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Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« on: August 16, 2018, 12:31:25 PM »
I'll have a Stihl 661 showing up next week. Will use it with a 28" bar most of the time and a 42" when needed. I feel comfortable running chainsaws. I wear protective gear, try to always be aware of where my bar tip is and how the log is reacting, am comfortable plunge cutting, and I don't use safety chains. Been cutting firewood for over a decade and in the last year have taken down about 90 trees to feed my sawmill and clean up the yard plus cutting up lots of logs that were already down or sourced from others. Current saws are a Stihl MS250 and Echo 680 (67cc). Used an Stihl 036 quite a bit in the past.

I've never used a saw as powerful as the 661. My other saws never feel like anything I can't handle. Have never felt like they were going to overpower me if something went wrong. I think I use good cutting practices but am just wondering if there is anything I should be extra vigilant about with the 661. I don't anticipate any problems using it but would like to avoid any unpleasant surprises if possible.

Thanks,

Alan
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Offline Jack Lilley

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 03:11:01 PM »
I logged professionally for over 10 years with a 440C and Husqvarna or Stihl chainsaws. I most always used a saw around 70cc but did use a large Stihl for a time. Be very careful and hold on tight, a saw with that power can kick very hard and be difficult to hold onto, never get comfortable or confident with a chainsaw of that size, it will get you if you do.

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 07:52:48 PM »
I run a 201t a 441 and an 880 and the way I use saws I feel like the big one is the safest.  For me the big saw is more of a take my time and plan each cut. Mostly bucking and felling large trees. The small top handle is what concerns me the most due to the way I use it. Mostly limbing down trees very quickly with very little time to think in between cuts. If you are in a comfortable position and are thinking about and planning each cut I doubt you will have an issues.  
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

Offline Ianab

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 08:29:20 PM »
In some ways I feel safer with a large saw, because it demands a bit more respect. You tend to be more cautious using, you have to worry about your footing an correct stance etc, just because of the weight and length of the thing.  You have to plan where you are cutting, and heft the saw into place etc. You can't just wave it around like a Jedi lightsaber.  :D

Longer bar means you have pay more attention to where the bar tip is. Make sure you don't go right through the log you are working, and contact something on the other side, that might create a kickback. 

Also, it's heavier work, you get tired quicker, and that's when you make mistakes. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Huntr41

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 09:04:04 PM »
I've been cutting with a 661 with the 25 and 32.inchbar for a few months and I have not had any issues. Just mainly bucking logs so not dropping or limbing so pretty good footing. I definitely treat it with respect! But it cuts great! Been cutting for 45 years with many smaller saws.

Offline Ben Cut-wright

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 11:08:57 AM »
I'll have a Stihl 661 showing up next week. Will use it with a 28" bar most of the time and a 42" when needed. I feel comfortable running chainsaws. I wear protective gear, try to always be aware of where my bar tip is and how the log is reacting, am comfortable plunge cutting, and I don't use safety chains. Been cutting firewood for over a decade and in the last year have taken down about 90 trees to feed my sawmill and clean up the yard plus cutting up lots of logs that were already down or sourced from others. Current saws are a Stihl MS250 and Echo 680 (67cc). Used an Stihl 036 quite a bit in the past.

I've never used a saw as powerful as the 661. My other saws never feel like anything I can't handle. Have never felt like they were going to overpower me if something went wrong. I think I use good cutting practices but am just wondering if there is anything I should be extra vigilant about with the 661. I don't anticipate any problems using it but would like to avoid any unpleasant surprises if possible.

Thanks,

Alan
Powerful saws create terrible injuries when an accident occurs.  As such, attention to safety is usually more concerted.  Getting too comfortable with any dangerous power tool is high on the list of accident cause.

My larger Stihls pull start much better with the "D" handles instead of the factory grips.  Kickback during starting can test your pain threshold.

Ianab said it well, but I will repeat as bit.

Spent six hours yesterday felling and bucking with a Echo 900EVL.  Nearly 3 times the dry weight of the Stihl 661, 3' bar, heat index of 110 degrees, it was miserable.  Some climbing, some rigging, only a few fell with wedges. By the time the last dangerous leaner was on the ground, I was soaked from head to toe.  (My metabolism and preferences allow me to enjoy such work in single digit temps.) Don't push being tired or stressed past your limits to properly control any saw.
 
The added weight and dimensions of the Echo 900 probably makes it less prone to getting out of control than the lighter Stihl 661.   Use good operating techniques as you would with other saws, be aware of the greater potential for more serious injury, and never forget that saw has more energy than you can control....if it ever gets the advantage on you. 

ALWAYS try to "anticipate problems" and "unpleasant surprises", at least be constantly aware of the potential for unintended circumstances. 

 

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 11:40:39 AM »
I run a 201t a 441 and an 880 and the way I use saws I feel like the big one is the safest.  For me the big saw is more of a take my time and plan each cut. Mostly bucking and felling large trees. The small top handle is what concerns me the most due to the way I use it. Mostly limbing down trees very quickly with very little time to think in between cuts. If you are in a comfortable position and are thinking about and planning each cut I doubt you will have an issues.  
This hit the nail on the head. I think we get a little too comfortable running smaller saws. I got close to twenty years on you so I never run the big saw towards the end of the day when cutting and splitting wood. Just be careful and enjoy all that power. 

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 12:15:00 PM »
I ran 90cc saws 8 hrs a day 5 days a week for years while heavy pulp cutting . Felling, limbing and topping tree length.
Ran 16" to 20" bars on them and had no problem... but I was alot younger then :D
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 04:22:06 PM »
I got broke in 390 and 395 huskyís bars from 32 to 42 best thing keep your thumb around the handle and learn to drop start a larger saw the longer the bar the easier it is. If you donít feel like youíre up to operating donít just pay attention to your body and what itís telling you.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 04:36:53 PM »
I ran a big saw like that. Than I grab on to a 50cc one and think it's a toy.  :o But it's not.
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 05:18:26 PM »
I ran a big saw like that. Than I grab on to a 50cc one and think it's a toy.  :o But it's not.
That's kinda where I'm at, except scaled down. My big saw is 60cc, while my little is 42cc. I don't have the experience most of you have, so I'm probably similar to OP. More cautious, especially regarding where the nose is at, and I keep a firmer grip.
Otherside, is I sometimes find myself doing stupid stuff with the little saw, and I have to call myself out on it, and focus. It's easy to get careless, and it only takes a second for things to go south...

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 07:09:54 PM »
If you can still find the discontinued small radius Oregon PowerMatch DoubleGuard noses you can tame any 90cc saw.
Back in the day the forestry company I worked for made these noses compulsory on all our saws.
No kick back injuries with these "safety noses".

Here's one I'm demonstrating on my 7.8 h.p 066 Mag.


 

 
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Pulphook

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2018, 08:42:59 AM »
All great advice with experience....excellent posts.
As we age the saws get smaller and smaller with shorter bars. From 440s/660s to now the go to saw for me is the MS261 with a 16" or 20" bar.
Why ? That is one powerful little tool.
For us non pros with age ( repeat "age" ) it is less tiring and therefore safer cutting the +/- 6 cords firewood each year plus clearing  trails and blowdowns.
Using a smaller pro saw with shorter bars takes some planning and thinking with DBHs well over the bar length. Plunge/bore cutting is mandated.
Sure it takes more time, but easier on the body, harder on the brain. BTW, those shorter chains are easier to touch up in the woodlot with a stump vise and the 2in1 rigs that do the edge and raker with each pass.
The macho days with the big boy saws and 28" bars are long gone for us non pros. No need for the big saws and bars, and makes the cutting fun.
Furthermore, no chainsaws in hot humid weather for us. ::)
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24/7. No central heat. 6-8 cords firewood from the woodlot /year. Low low tech: ATV with trailer, 3 saws, 2 electric splitters, a worn pulphook, peavy, an old back getting older.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2018, 09:13:43 AM »
Hereís a big no no in my book a short bar boring with a big power head thatís just asking for it come after you, when doing oversized stuff chase your cut donít bore it.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2018, 11:56:06 AM »
I don't recommend  bore cutting for novices learning on their own. I have trained students to bore cut in a 3 ft high 12" diameter stump in a felling technique with a MS361-16". The students with the best point scores were usually young women.

Stihl no longer sells a 20" ES bar with a huge 13 tooth 3/8" sprocket nose. They were very poplar in  hard wood cutting in the eastern seaboard and parts of Europe. But kickback energy was high on these bars and safety became paramount over durability.
Standard 11 tooth 3/8" noses are a better option.

But as pictured my 9 tooth Oregon Double Guard bores much more smoothly and just as quick as my 11 tooth PowerMatch nose below it.


  
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Pulphook

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2018, 12:34:17 PM »
We do plunge/bore cuts often with DBH trunks > the bar length.
It was one of the techniques taught long ago in the CLP class. The instructor had a contest for 'meeting' the bore on either side of the trunk for the back cut.
It does demand practice, a sharp chain, use of the lower tip starting with caution, and WOT. Most of the pro arborists and pro loggers in the program never used the technique since all had long bars and 90cc saws.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2018, 01:37:27 PM »
FWIW I had an 084 Stihl decide to mule kick me which must have fractured a bone in my hand because I could predict the weather for about 2 years afterwards .It now wears a D-handle .
Now this drop starting a high cube saw .It's none of my business what anybody does but I personally think it's an unsafe practice.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2018, 01:51:12 PM »
Try starting a saw up on a spring board or one with a 60Ē bar tell me how youíre going to hold it up or set it on the ground to start it? Normally youíll crank them around to top dead then drop/throw start them.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2018, 02:23:49 PM »
Dont stick your leg in front of the bars path .. Big saw kickback isnt nearly as much a problem as operator fatigue and holding the dang thing up. The mass of the saw will dissipate more kickback energy compared to an ultra light tophandle. But gravity will bring that big bar straight down when you pull it out of the cut so stay clear of that spot.  

Dont drop it on your foot.

Dont fall off the log youre walking on and land ontop that big saw.  Ie, when youre gonna fall throw that sucker as far as you can.  

Dont forget to set the chainbrake and swing the bar behind you when carrying it by the top handle with saw still idling.  This way the bar wont catch a snag and cross your path.  


When you bore cut, start by making a gill by using the bottom corner of the nose on the pull side, throwing chips at you.  Your bar will start at a 45* angle from your hinge and clip a corner off the opposite side hold wood.  Get some depth in this bevel cut to create a pocket for the bar, before swinging the power head, at full throttle,  90 to the trunk (parallel to the hinge cut) and then push straight in.   I think full throttle tends to kick back less than feathering. The fiber cant resist shearing at WOT (unless you hit a hollow chimney in the tree.. It can kick as you try to enter the far side of the chimney)

 I also kinda wallow in on a plunge so that its a bit wider than the bar.  I think it makes clearance for chip ejection and takes less power.  Start a bit further back than the final hinge line so you can creep up to set the finished thickness nice and clean and planned out.  This avoids the "oh crap i clipped too much hinge and might lose this tree any second" panic.

Oh and get a bigger gas can.  They drink. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cautions to take with 90cc saws?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2018, 05:31:50 PM »
What you folks do on the left coast I haven't a clue.Never been there .A 60" bar you just don't see in these parts .Fact I've got the longest two in probably a 6 county area in these parts .48" that fits on a few vintage old school red wood killers ,Mac 125 and Homelite 2100S  .The 084 has a 42" .This I can say the danged things are heavy .About like a 16 pound bowling ball on the end of a broom stick .Never saw a spring board other than at the timber sports shows . :)


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