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Author Topic: When to use a 395/460 class saw?  (Read 4319 times)

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Offline twistedtree

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When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« on: November 07, 2005, 05:07:45 PM »
How big a tree for bucking or felling do you cut before you reach for one of these larger saws? I'm in the northeast, and deal mostly with mixed hardwoods. I've got a 262XP and am debating a longer bar (24" or maybe 28"), versus a larger saw. Around here a 24" log is pretty big, so that's likely the max for bucking, but then I have the stumps to deal with.

When do you use a larger saw instead of a 440/460 class saw?

Offline twistedtree

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Re: When to use a 395/660 class saw?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 05:09:45 PM »
Sorry about the typo in the subject.   I meant a Husky 395 or a Stihl MS660, not a 460.

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 06:26:41 PM »
I do treework for a living, but we don't have much call for firewood down here in Florida. Most 'bucking' is simply chunking up trees to get them out of backyards into pieces we can throw on the truck. In my 20 years doing treework, the only time I regularly used a big saw was when I ran a crew specializing in large removals (typically utilizing a 35 ton crane). I used a HUsky 2101 or sometimes the 3120 for a few monster cuts.
I've worked with lots of guys over the years and many own one large saw (typically a Stihl 066). These big saws usually get drug out about once or twice a year for big stump cuts. They are not carried on the truck on a daily basis. a Stihl 440 or 460 or a Husky 372 are all perfect size saws to carry on a daily basis as your 'big' saw. All will run a 24" bar with authority and all will handle a 28" bar almost as well.

24" bars are less expensive than longer bars, shorter chains are less expensive and faster to sharpen. It's been a long time since I've cut something that a 24" bar wouldn't handle. Most any stump over 48" around here has some hollow in the middle. I'd recommend hanging on to your 262XP and adding a Husky 372XP withy a 24" bar. Everyone I know who owns a 660 regrets putting so much money into a saw that sits on the shelf.

Offline Larry

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2005, 07:08:06 PM »
Your not a logger in this part of the country unless your running an 066...well I got me one...guess I'm a logger. :D ;D :D ;D :D ;D  For me the only time it is useful is when I need a long bar to clean the stump from one side.  Example would be on an 80% slope and your standing on a root trying to snip the stem off.  Rest of the time my 272XP with a 24" bar is more than adequate and a pleasure to use.
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Offline dutchman

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2005, 07:36:00 PM »
I bought a Husky 395 with a 42" Oregon power match bar. One regular chain and one rip chain.
I've dropped two 30" trees, I think the saw is well worth having.
I also have a 38" red oak blowdown to quarter for the mill.
My big saw before was a Husk 272xp.
I'm in western PA. , the big ones are worth the effort.
I want to Qsaw more Sycamore, thats why I got the saw.



Offline rebocardo

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2005, 09:22:50 AM »
I use my Husky 365 (like a small 372) all the time for cutting, dropping, and chunking trees with a 28 inch bar running full skip chain. I usually cut 20-30" trees and on occasion have used it for 48" trees. The only reason I can see for owning a big saw (Husky 395/3120 etc) like that is for slabbing or cutting down 36" hardwoods all the time.

Once the 395 is full of fluids and has a suitable bar on it (say 28-36 inches) it is MUCH heavier then a Husky 372 running a 20-24 inch bar. Especially holding it by the left hand to reach on other side of the log to lop branches.

One thing to note about the bigger saws, they use heavier (bigger guage) chain and bars. So, they end up weighing more for the same bar length as a smaller saw. After five or six hours of constantly holding the saw, it adds up.

Along with that comes not being able to control kick back at all if you make a mistake. I had one bad kickback on my littler Husky 365 while ripping a log, it set off the hand brake, and I could not feel anything in the palms of my hands for a few minutes they hurt so bad. It happened before I knew what happened and if I had not had a good grip on the saw it would have launched backwards out of my hands for sure. Plopped me back a few feet.
 
imo, When to use a 395/460 is when you are regularly cutting 36" hardwood timber.  30" or less the other saws are fine. I might even say, buy the smaller saw and mod it before going after the big guys. Especially if you do not use the saw to make most of your living and how much you earn by the hour is not critiical as it would be if you are depending on how many trees are dropped in an hour.

Offline twistedtree

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2005, 10:54:26 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  I still imagine using the 262XP most of the time due to the weight issues you outline.  The 262XP is only about 10% less power than a 372XP, and about 2 lbs lighter, so from my perspective it's an excellent saw for most of my needs.  Then I have the 346XP for smaller work where I want something another 2 lbs lighter.  So a 395 would only be for the big stuff where the 262 is really pushing it, and I'm willing to take on the extra weight for a few cuts.

The other thing going thru the back of my mind is the evolution (or devolution) of saws due to EPA regs.  My bet is that the 395XP will dissappear in the next year or two, and be replaced by something heavier and lower powered, so I think the getting is good at the moment for some of these better power/weight saws.  The price is high, but a saw lasts me a long time so over the years it's not that significant.  After all, my $500 262 is still running strong after 14 years.  That's $35 a year - not bad.

Offline DanManofStihl

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2005, 05:55:20 PM »
I run my 066 about once a month for larger removals that the ms 440 is to small to do or if I dont have time to wait for a slower saw. I mostly run a ms 440 or a 036 pro it is much easier to sharpen a 20 inch chain then a 36 inch chain. Also the weight of the saw makes it unpractical for every day use.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2005, 07:29:12 PM »
 I imagine I use my saws in excess of 100 hrs per year[I have many saws].The larger saws I doubt get used a combined total of 5 hrs.
 In my praticular case I've found it's seldom that a midsize saw will not be large enough in most cases.

Offline SawTroll

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2005, 09:25:41 AM »
So a 395 would only be for the big stuff where the 262 is really pushing it, and I'm willing to take on the extra weight for a few cuts.
Just in case you haven't noticed, there is quite a bit of weight difference between the 395 and the 660. The difference is bigger than the numbers published by Stihl and Husky indicates.
I think your 262 was about the last Husky model to weight as adverticed.....  smiley_annoyed01
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Offline Engineer

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2005, 12:04:32 PM »
Even with a sawmill and a lot of firewood cutting, I didn't find a good reason to keep the 066 I had.   I had a 28" bar on it, and I only used it two or three times.   The saw was bought with a Logosol mill, and after I sold the mill, I thought the saw would be useful, but it wasn't.  I have a 25" bar for my MS390 but it doesn't work well - too much chain, not enough saw. 

About fifteen years ago, the owner of the company I was working for had a large (48"+) maple taken down.  I watched the tree guys strip the tree down to the bare trunk with small saws, until all that was left was a 15' tall bole.  They attached a line from the boom truck to the top of the trunk, and then the tree guy pulled out a monster saw with a 5' bar and just sliced through the base in one pass.  Dropped that trunk on the lawn and away they went.    I have never seen anone else around here use or need a saw that big.  Apparently the pro tree guys do their work with the small, powerful saws and keep a monster in reserve for the occasional cut.

Offline Billy_Bob

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2005, 12:30:03 PM »
I have a Stihl 460 with a 32" bar, full skip square ground chain and am typically bucking 25" and larger logs up to maybe 30".

I feel this saw has plenty of power for what I am doing. The best thing is the power it has along with its weight. The next saw up weighs quite a bit more.

Offline twistedtree

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2005, 12:50:56 PM »
So a 395 would only be for the big stuff where the 262 is really pushing it, and I'm willing to take on the extra weight for a few cuts.
Just in case you haven't noticed, there is quite a bit of weight difference between the 395 and the 660. The difference is bigger than the numbers published by Stihl and Husky indicates.
I think your 262 was about the last Husky model to weight as adverticed.....  smiley_annoyed01

Which number is correct?  According to their specs, the 660 is about 1/2 lb lighter, but that's all.  I've been considering them to be equivalent, not just because I think they are, but because I don't want to devolve into a Stihl/Husky war.

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2005, 05:33:54 PM »
Husky published weight specs are underrated. They remove the side cover, bucking spikes and sometimes more in order to measure the 'dry weight'. On the bigger saws you can easily add a half pound or more to their published weights.

Husky and Stihl both have awesome saws in certain categories. But the only big Huskies I'd buy are the 372XP and 3120XP. The only big Stihls I'd buy are the 440, 460 or 660. For the weight category you want, the 660 is your best option. Next smaller would be the 460, then the 372XP and 440.

Offline Max sawdust

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2005, 09:41:58 PM »
I run a 346XP with 16 inch bar good for everything up to 30 inches.  Brushing and bucking is a dream..,Felling is not.  >:( My next saw will be  just a step up or two on the Pro grade husky.  I figer that will do me unless I move to Oregon or something :D

I am having difficulty imagining haulen two saws into the woods  one for fellen one for brushing  ???  I figure I spend more time and energy brushing than felling :)
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Offline SawTroll

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2005, 07:16:47 AM »
According to DLG/KWF test reports, the 394 was .6 kg (1 1/3 lbs) heavier than the 660 is, and I am pretty sure the 395 is even heavier (no test report for that one).

The Jred 2095 was reported to be a full 2 lbs heavier than the 660.
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Offline Striker

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2005, 10:52:32 AM »
We use an 066 with a three foot bar when we do tree work. We bought the saw with a 25 " bar, but bought the 36" When we started getting into some six and seven foot dbh trees. Untill i bought a 372XP at the Paul Bunyion Show the 066 was my main saw on clearing jobs. For me the big saw with the big bar saves me time cutting trees. saving time makes money. Granted not everyone can lug a 066 around all day. But if you can handle it, buy one and enjoy the experience.

Jeff

Offline twistedtree

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Re: When to use a 395/460 class saw?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2005, 05:18:33 PM »
Thanks for all the input.  Here's how I'm leaning at the moment.  I'm thinking I'll retire the 262XP to my main home where the saw gets only light use.  My farm/woodlot is where the saws get lots of use and I'll keep the 346XPG for limbing and small trees, and get a 385XPG for the heavier stuff.  The more I look at a 395XP, the more I think it's overkill for my needs.  A 385 with a 28" or 32" bar will take care of pretty much anything around here in a single cut.


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