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Author Topic: Help Me Buy My Last Saw  (Read 7682 times)

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Offline jaustin

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Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« on: March 08, 2004, 10:30:58 AM »
Hi folks. 1st time poster. Just joined. I'm just a guy with 10 wooded acres who gets in his own firewood (about 4 cord a year) and tries to keep the place clean. And I'm tired of using a junky saw.

Help me pick out my next--hopefully last--saw.

I've been using a Husky 45, which a local dealer says is junk. He carries Stihl and Husky. I won't argue. I bought it from a different dealer, and it broke the first time I ran it. Since then (about 2 years ago) I've had to put it in the shop about every 8 hours or so of use. I take good care of it.

I like this dealer; he's been at this a long time, seems to know what he's talking about, and he deals with quite a few pros, or seems to, as well as rural folk like me. I asked him what to buy and he pointed me towards a Stihl 290 Farm Boss.

I've done some reading here and learned that the 290 isn't the most respected saw in Stihl's lineup. The price is about right for me, though I could go a bit more. I notice, by the way, that it DOES have a white handle. Some folks have said that means it's part of their "pro" line. But the price--$100 less than their $260--suggests it isn't.

Now I don't see myself cutting much more wood than I do right now, and I don't ever cut real big trees. So I don't really need a pro saw. I'll use it a couple of hours a week. But I don't like buying junk, and I want a saw that will last.

So what saw should I buy?

Thanks,
Jim


Offline Frickman

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2004, 11:36:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum Jim. The 290 is a perfect saw for what you plan to do. It is designed for serious occasional users, that's why they call it the Farm Boss. The 260 is a great saw too. It is built more for the professional user operating it everyday. That's not to say that I guy like you wouldn't appreciate it. It is basically a scaled down professional saw. The 290 is basically a scaled up consumer saw. If you're buying your last saw and can afford the price go with the 260. If the cost is too steep the 290 will still be a great saw.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline redpowerd

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2004, 01:05:53 PM »
my farm boss is about 6 yrs old, pretty sure the all the 029s have orange handles. this saw has been used allmost daily since purchased.  i have since holed out the muffler and got a rim sprocket. its never been in the shop and has been my most reliable saw. if anything went wrong on it i would definetly fix it before scrapin it. i regret not gettin a 036, just cause its lighter. but its an xtra 200 clams, and i wasnt plannin on using it all that much. i dont see why an 029 wouldnt eat them woods up in your lifetime and then sum.
good luck, welcome to the forum, and have fun!
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer

Offline jaustin

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2004, 01:13:50 PM »
Dear red,

Yep, you're right--it has an orange handle. I was lookin' at the 280, not the 290.

A question for those who know both lines--Husky and Stihl--is the build/parts quality of the 290 much better than my old Husky 45? Is my dealer (Reggie, of Reggies, in Auburn, Maine) telling the truth when he says "Husky didn't put much into" the 45? It's always possible to get a bad one, but can I assume that the build/parts quality of the 290 will be better than my old Husky?  

Thanks,
Jim

Offline oldsaw-addict

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2004, 01:15:15 PM »
I think a 290 would be most likely a perfect match fot you and your needs. If not, then you can just go to the 260.
Let there be saws for all mankind!

Offline Ianab

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2004, 01:37:23 PM »
Hi Jaustin
I've got a Sthil 310 (very similar to the 290) and like you I would only use it a couple of hours a week. It's been an excellent saw and has only ever needed sharpening, cleaning and a new spark plug. The 260 is a better saw, but of course you gotta pay more.
I'd say get the 290, look after it well and it should go for years

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

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2004, 02:19:54 PM »
As others have said, it sounds like the 290 would be a good match for you. The worst part about it is how heavy it is for the amount of power you get. Regardless of printed specs, it is about equal in power to the 260 but over 2 pounds heavier. But for chunkin up firewood it should be ok.

The 270-280 series are a completely new design released within the last year. I don't know much about them yet.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2004, 05:26:39 PM »
I'm another satisfied MS290 owner... I liked the bigger size (compared to the 260, the 290's handles are about 2 inches furhter apart.).  It is a bit of a beast, weight wise, and if you cut a cord or so of firewood with it, you know you've done some work, but it cuts like hell.  

Husky wise, check out the old 55 rancher, which has a rep  for being indestructible, and your dealer will show you the 353, which was sort of supposed to replace the 55 but hasn't managed to.

Thing I liked about Stihl was that I could operate the choke etc (the master switch) with heavy gloves on, and I didn't think I could do a husky or jonsered as easily.

Check out the Jonsy 2148 too... same price as a farm boss when both are on sale, and I think about 2 pounds lighter.

The manual I got with the 290 was very comprehensive, and really pretty good all told.  
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2004, 05:50:28 PM »
I'd have to agree about the Husky 55.  A buddy has one that he bought new.  It's lived in the back of his pickup and cut LOTSA firewood and I mean LOTS.  Never had a problem outside of normal maintenance stuff.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline wiam

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2004, 05:53:20 PM »
I do not know the difference between the 029 and 290.  I have an 029 and have been happy with it except for weight.( but I am thinking about a 372xp for my next saw, same weight as 029  but 2 more hp)

Wiam

Offline Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2004, 06:12:41 PM »
372's ROCK
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Mark M

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2004, 06:33:14 PM »
Hi Jim

I've got a MS260 and a Husky 345 and like them both. The 345 cost $179 at Sears but they are usually about $279 which is a good deal cheaper than the 260. You might wish to consider it along with the Rancher 55. Neither are pro saws but I think they would serve you well, as would the MS290. Stihl has another saw that is a little smaller, it is the MS270C - Wood Boss. It has a white handle and is supposed to have some of the features of the pro saws although I don't know the details. You can see one at: Here

Have fun shopping
Mark

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2004, 06:38:32 AM »
Another saw to look at in that price range might be a dolmar (makita) 520.  I was looking at one the other day, and it felt pretty good, though who could ever trust a blue chainsaw to run right? ;)
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Offline shoot

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2004, 10:51:07 AM »
Check with DozerDan, I think He has Dolmars on sale for 240.00 + shipping for the 540. You can't beat the price or the quality for that.
Larry

Offline jokers

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2004, 11:15:41 AM »
If you`re willing to consider a Dolmar, check out Dolmar Dan`s sale prices on a few models at this link:http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13555

Offline jaustin

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Thanks, everyone!
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2004, 02:36:11 PM »
Just got back from Reggies. I bought a Stihl 310. All the folks here who liked the 290 convinced me that was the way to go, but when I got there and hefted them (and compared the prices) I thought the 310, at $350, was the best choice--same saw, a little more power. When I'm limbing I may regret the extra weight, but I made my choice. (I was very tempted by a 361 at $499, but it was a little more than I wanted to pay).

If any of you live not to far, I recommend Reggies. In an age of Wal-Marts and McDonalds, Reggies is a real place, with real people. I got not only a saw but about an hour of undivided attention from an old-timer who knows his saws. Even got a sharpening lesson.

Can't wait to get out tomorrow afternoon and put a hurting on some fallen wood.

Thanks again.
Jim

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2004, 06:03:45 PM »
I bought a used  Husky 372 XP this evening. I came in contact with this fella that mainly cuts firewood and gets a new saw every year whether he needs it or not. His last few saws have been the 372 XP which says is "the saw".

I just missed out on the last one he had as he sold it to someone else that beat me to it. He then had another new one but said that he didn't want to sell it for awhile. That was back in early February. He called me a couple times and said that he might get another new 372 XP and if he did, was I still interested in his current 372 XP. I said that I would be as I wanted a 372 XP.

He called me this evening saying that he was coming to Cadillac, if I wanted to look at the saw. I met him at the Home Depot parking lot. The saw was in the front seat of his pick-up with him. He said he would like to have $365.00 for it and with a start on the first crank I bought it.

He runs them with a 16 inch bar which he prefers, but I can change that, though the existing bar and chain appear to almost new.


~Ron

Offline Kevin

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2004, 06:09:55 PM »
That's a nice saw Ron, what are your plans for it?

Offline wiam

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2004, 08:52:55 PM »
Hey Ron,
I'm jealous
Wiam

Offline Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2004, 07:27:59 AM »
I got my 372 at an auction in Harrison last fall.  The one with the log truck, power unit etc.  It was listed on the sale bill along with a 288 but I wasn't interested in chainsaws.  When I got there and was looking stuff over I saw right away that the 288 was ragged out but the 372 was a whole different story :).  I got to looking it over and it had the original bar on it with the Husqvarna letering clearly visible.  The chain was about half filed down.  Closer inspection revealed no scars on the chain catch pin or nylon blocks in the side cover.  It had never even thrown a chain.  All the stickers were on it and in good shape even the bar code one on the bottom of the rear handle and the Running Gears sticker from where it was bought new.  The only thing was that it was a bit faded like it had sat in the sun for a while and the throttle linkage wasn't just right.  It would catch and you couldn't get full throttle out of it.  I was now interested. I'd wanted one for quite a while but figured it would go high.  The 288 came up first and brought 185.00  :o  Way too high for what looked like junk to me.  Now I knew the 372 would sell for a lot.  The 372 came up and it was going to sell for $180.00.  The guy that bought the 288 musta been P.O.  ;)  I bid and in the end got it for  $220.00 :o ;D 8) 8) 8) :) :) :) :).  Just as the auctioneer said sold someone bid $230.00  ::) but it was too late and he sold it to me anyway 8).  I had to take the handle apart when I got it home and put the throttle cable back in the right spot.  It was "derailed".  I'm not sure what someone had done to it to cause that to happen but that's all it needed.  I cut my wood and Dad's wood with it last fall and have been using it to cut cedar this winter and couldn't be happier with it.  You'll like your new saw Ron.  As far as I'm concerned they're "the saw"
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2004, 02:57:28 PM »
I guess after seeing and talking saws so much with the loggers that work my jobs, the 372 XP always seems to come up as one of their favorites.

So I just had to have one, but never wanted to pay the price of a new one. I'm mainly a part time cutter of firewood and do some "clean-up" cutting and road cleaning on the timber jobs.

I see the need for having two saws so I now have a Husky 351 and 372 to back up each other. They should do me for awhile, but now that I've a 372 they tell me a 373 is replacing it.

~Ron

Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2004, 02:51:23 AM »
Where did you hear about the 373?
Chainsaw Nerd

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2004, 08:37:45 AM »
One of the loggers on a job yesterday told me about the 373. I haven't varified it yet with a dealer though.
~Ron

Offline Bernhard_admin_change

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2004, 03:41:26 AM »
I would be carefull, by buying a Dolmar(Makita) Iīve worked with a few, smaller and bigger ones. A 116si at our VFD was a real pain in the a..e!!! It had been changed for a 044.The same model I bought used runs fine. Even the primer at the smaller dolmars can make You some worries.
I own a few Sthil (around 16) and have always been satisfied with them. But if a dealer is benear You, which is selling Husky or Jonsered, it would be worth to have a look at them.
Ever heard about Solo? The 644SP could also fit Your needs,
for a good price.BTW the Stihl Saws seemed to be cheaper in US then in Germany :-/ www.solousa.com

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2004, 04:21:08 PM »
I followed up on the Husky 373XP "rumor" today at a major dealer in the area. He said that the 372XP will be around for awhile yet.

He said there is a new saw out and he has 4 of them on demo. He wasn't sure if it was going to be called a 373 or what. He was a little "tight lipped".

I'll have to "nose" around my loggers some. I may see it in the woods.
~Ron

Offline oldsaw-addict

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2004, 04:24:04 PM »
I'm intrigured, a replacement for the ever popular 372? It sounds almost like a lie, but it may be so, if it is so I would like to see or hear about one and how it compares to the 372.
Let there be saws for all mankind!

Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2004, 06:51:38 AM »
Some of the guys/dealers at another site have no knowledge of a replacement for the 372. The only reason i could think of for Husqvarna to replace the 372, would be to try to get something out there with a higher price. At $560 or so, it's a lot of saw for the money.
I ran my 801 last night until I broke my new chain, then switched to the 372 and I have to say, the 372 is an awesome saw! I dropped and completely took apart an old apple, a pare and did some substantial damage to a walnut overhanging the driveway in very short order. And best of all, I wasnít even tired when done.
I am in the process of making some changes to my saw line up and had considered selling the 372, but no way that's gunna happen!
Chainsaw Nerd

Offline Corley5

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2004, 10:48:06 AM »
Only way I'll replace my 372 is with another 372 or the model that replaces it 8)  Gonna be pretty hard to improve on it though
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline oldsaw-addict

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2004, 01:32:28 PM »
The 372 is popular, what more is there to say besides if Husky ever stops making it they will lose a LOT of business to stihl. I like my 266 a lot too, its almost as much saw as a 372 with the mods done to it. Just make sure they keep makin the 372 or we will be an angry mob at their front door one day :D
Let there be saws for all mankind!

Offline tony_marks

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2004, 02:15:42 PM »
 this thing of power to rate can in my opinion be the wrong way to look at the needs of an firewood saw. i got an 026 and its plenty powerful but in this use the exstra 2 bls would be an advantage in
cutting firewood pieces . to me the 026excels for an arborist.
 my fire wood saw is an 962 efco at 12.5 lbs. its like having an 028 with 13 more cc.of course i could have gone with my 036 with the same results but 6 one half dozen the other.then theres always to 372power ported,and truth is it would probably be the easiest saw to get the job done with. its good problem to have to choose lol.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2004, 07:57:38 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if Husky tried to replace the 372... after all, they've been phasing out the 55 rancher for what, about 12 years now? :D :D :D
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Offline jokers

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2004, 01:23:11 PM »
Quote
I wouldn't be surprised if Husky tried to replace the 372... after all, they've been phasing out the 55 rancher for what, about 12 years now? :D :D :D


Naw, more like 3-4 yrs. But why wouldn`t Husky continue to make 55s as long as they continue to sell and they meet the emissions standards? They`ve sold so many that their R&D and tooling costs must have been paid back many times over. Seems like a good way to do business for a change.

Russ

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2004, 04:36:59 PM »
Russ, absolutely Husky should continue to make the 55r - it's the best selling saw around here for sure.  I just find it kind of humorous when companies introduce a "new and improved" and nobody cares.  Everyone loves the 372 - never hear a bad word about that saw, so predictably, the manufacturer will introduce a "better" one!  Time will tell, my friend. :)
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Offline maine_firewood

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2004, 01:01:17 PM »
Hay I just bought the 361 up at Wallingfords they are by far the lowest priced around. Paid $480 with a 18" bar which is about $45 cheaper than anyone down here around Portland they were even cheaper than Osgoods in Fryeburg which was a big suprise. Good luck

Offline Larry

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2004, 03:46:40 PM »
I bought my 272XP about a year before the 372 replaced it.  Think there was a cult following on the 272.  I was offered a brand-new 372 for my year old 272 but figured the guy knew something I didnít so passed.  Wonít pass this time so if you want to trade let me know. ;D ;D  A new 372 sells for less money now than what I paid for the 272 years ago  Ė canít help but think that things are looking bright in the Husky line up.

The 372 out accelerates my 272.  I can out cut the 372 but think that is more related to the chain or how I sharpen it.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2004, 05:15:33 PM »
We bought 2- Husky 55 models a couple years ago for bucking stovewood and they work great. Has a decompression button also. My father had a Husky and a Partner that he ran both for ever. We mostly had cut stovewood and once in awhile we cut sawlogs with those old saws. They got alot of abuse by the hired hands that would be working with father when we were still in school. I remember father bought a Sacs Delmore (a German saw) which was light for cutting on the yard he thought. That thing was useless after you shut it off after the first use. You could only start it cold. I think it ended up in the brush pile :D

cheers
Move'n on.

Offline David_c

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2004, 06:51:05 PM »
i would have to say that the 372 is the cats meow i have loved this saw since i got it. then i opened up the muffler alls i can say is  8) 8) 8) i also have the husky 350 good saw and the ms460 nice saw but i grab the 372 16" bar allways my poor other saws  just dont get the use :( so once in a while i run a tank of gas through them but then i start to miss my 372 ;D

Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2004, 07:35:45 AM »
Quote
i would have to say that the 372 is the cats meow i have loved this saw since i got it. then i opened up the muffler alls i can say is  8) 8) 8) i also have the husky 350 good saw and the ms460 nice saw but i grab the 372 16" bar allways my poor other saws  just dont get the use :( so once in a while i run a tank of gas through them but then i start to miss my 372 ;D


My othere saws always give me that sad puppydog face  :( when i walk past them with my 372 also.
Once you run the 372, all your other saws just ain't what they used to be.
Chainsaw Nerd

Offline oldsaw-addict

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2004, 02:33:26 PM »
Quote


My othere saws always give me that sad puppydog face  :( when i walk past them with my 372 also.
Once you run the 372, all your other saws just ain't what they used to be.


I looked at a new MS440 today and I think its actually wider than my jonsered. I dont know HOW but its also more boxlike than I imagined a saw should ever be in this day and age. JMO. I'll stay with my Jred, for now, unless I get an 075.then the little 670 will just growl at me every time I walk past with the BIG kahuna with me. ;D Actually, it as well as my other saws will just crawl up in the corner and hide as best they can from the 075.
Let there be saws for all mankind!

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2004, 03:17:42 PM »
I put a new 20" bar and chain on the Husky 372 XP today. Also a new air filter. It's now a favorite saw.
~Ron

Offline Bronco

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Re: Help Me Buy My Last Saw
« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2004, 01:33:03 PM »
I curently have a Stihl 029 which I like, but, would like to have a second saw for felling bigger trees.  I've sort of decided on buying a used 046 and have seen some on ebay that point out the saw is a "MAGNUM".  I was under the impression that the "pro" saws are all magnums and there's no difference between a "MAGNUM" and plain old 046.  Am I wrong?

I decided that since the saw would be used for felling and bucking I'd look for one with a full wrap handle, double dogs and a 24" bar.  Anything else I should be looking for?  

I'm also considering simply adding these features after picking up a standard saw as they are much more accessible.  Any thoughts on that?  Seems like all the used saws set up for felling go for an extra $100 or so.

Thanks for your advice. You guys are very helpful.


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