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Author Topic: Husqy 460 Rancher or 550 xp - for chainsaw milling - tradesman here, no sawyer,  (Read 2057 times)

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Offline Shaney

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So I'm an old jack-of-all-trades and master of none, seeking input from experienced sawyers on whether there would be significant difference in chainsaw milling with either of these saws (?) Have been researching, the 460 with it's 60cc vs. the 50cc. of the 550 - this is about as high as I can go on pricem and Husqy has the 550 on sale right now. Wondering if the 460 has more ass in the torque dept, wondering if that is even a consideration. Also - seems like with the Husqy's you get more bang for your buck than Stihl's, and I say that hesitantly knowing how popular Stihls are. Thoughts?

Offline old guy

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I do no milling personally, but from every thing I've seen written no one recomends less than 70 cc & preferably 90 cc for milling.

Offline John Mc

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How big are the logs you are thinking of milling?
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline ladylake

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 Its best to just hire a bandmill for a day, most likely will cost less overall, get more done in one day than a month of chainsaw milling plus way more lumber out of your logs.   Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline HolmenTree

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So I'm an old jack-of-all-trades and master of none, seeking input from experienced sawyers on whether there would be significant difference in chainsaw milling with either of these saws (?) Have been researching, the 460 with it's 60cc vs. the 50cc. of the 550 - this is about as high as I can go on pricem and Husqy has the 550 on sale right now. Wondering if the 460 has more ass in the torque dept, wondering if that is even a consideration. Also - seems like with the Husqy's you get more bang for your buck than Stihl's, and I say that hesitantly knowing how popular Stihls are. Thoughts?
If you're milling logs 8 inch diameter and smaller a 50cc or 60cc may work for you.
But be careful with those 550XP saws they are not near as  user friendly as their Stihl counterparts.  Plus make sure your Husqvarna dealer is able to set the AutoTune up for you or it will be a huge headache.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Ada Shaker

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Yep, if milling the bigger the better, even if it's a good old saw. Some came with gear reduction in their day. Torque is king when it comes to milling. Just depends on how big a log your milling and what type of wood. Horizontal band-saws work better and give you more usable wood. If you've got your heart set on a chainsaw, a good proprietary saw such as the stihl brand (070-090) where spare parts can still be had or the MS 880 cant be beat in my opinion. Parts may still be had for some of the old huskys or a spare saw, but you'll have to look into it.
If it hangs to the left, your likely to be a Husqvarna man.
If it hangs to the right, your likely to be a Stihl man.
Anything else is an uncomfortable compromise.
                             AND
Walking with one foot on either side of a barbed wire fence can become extremely uncomfortable at times.

Offline scully

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I would be worried that the saw's you speak of would burn up fast . Lot's of load on a saw when milling with it . I would try and find a way to go big .  The big Stihls seem to be a crowd favorite .
I bleed orange  .

Offline Shaney

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To all of ya's - thanks for the reply. The deal is, my best buddy owns a really successful tree service, he'll literally give all the logs I want - his attitude is that he just wants the wood to go away. I am heeding ya'll's advice though - I'm gonna fool around a bit with an Alaskan style mill on some smaller stuff, but I'm not invest in a big hog of a saw to do the milling. Building a band saw. Makes more sense, investment wise.

Offline Shaney

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But they are having sales on those Husky's though. So many tools, so little money...

Offline Ada Shaker

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To all of ya's - thanks for the reply. The deal is, my best buddy owns a really successful tree service, he'll literally give all the logs I want - his attitude is that he just wants the wood to go away. I am heeding ya'll's advice though - I'm gonna fool around a bit with an Alaskan style mill on some smaller stuff, but I'm not invest in a big hog of a saw to do the milling. Building a band saw. Makes more sense, investment wise.

If you have a constant supply of wood then yes, a band-saw type mill makes more sense and less mess.
If it hangs to the left, your likely to be a Husqvarna man.
If it hangs to the right, your likely to be a Stihl man.
Anything else is an uncomfortable compromise.
                             AND
Walking with one foot on either side of a barbed wire fence can become extremely uncomfortable at times.

Offline homestead090

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My chainsaw milling set up is a Stihl 090 and a Granberg Mill. I actually have two 090's. One was given to me and the other I purchased for $600 but will have about $1000 (at most) in it when all is said and done. I have the parts to run my mill as a 36 inch and 60 inch mill. Max cuts are 32 inch wide and 56 inch wide. The widest I've cut was 52 inch. I think some people think chainsaw milling is a cheap way to get into it, but if you have a set up that's actually up to the task it's not that cheap. What it is, is highly portable and in my case the only way I would get to mill the logs I'm milling. I love being able to toss all my equipment in the back of my truck and just go mill a log vs. hauling a bandmill and having to move the whole log. I'm milling logs that are 4 feet in diameter, they weigh as much as a car in some cases....I don't have the equipment to move them nor could the equipment go into the locations I'm milling if I did. I think your answer comes down to what you are doing with the wood. For me, I make furniture and depending on what I'm making, one slab used as a table top would pay for all the equipment I use. I'm also getting an extraordinary amount of pleasure milling. It is very hard work dealing with the big stuff, but it is so cool. So the answer to your question, milling with a small saw is going to suck unless you are dealing with tiny soft logs and razor sharp chains......and it will still suck then. I'm not talking about when you first show up, the weather is perfect, birds are chirping, but an hour after that when you are over the high and really working. Watch some milling videos on youtube of people using too small of saws and you'll see how slow it is.........then watch a video of someone with a powerhouse of a saw. I was cutting 3-4 foot diameter cuts 8 feet plus long in about 3-5 minutes when everything worked perfect, 10 minutes plus once the chain dulls out. I've heard of others taking 30, 40 minutes and longer doing similar cuts. You also kind of need to think long term, is it something your doing just to get some boards, if so, get someone to mill them for you, it's way "Cheaper" to pay than to do it for "free" yourself....you'll understand what I mean once you've done some milling. If you are milling huge wood, logs you can't remove or get a band mill with hydraulics right beside, or simply want to chainsaw mill.....get a chainsaw mill. If you want to mill, but are mainly looking for regular lumber, 1x6's and such for furniture building, get a band mill. Outside of a big band mill, if you want something normal, I would wait and buy one. By the time you build one, you would have a huge amount of time and the cost would probably be not that far off what you can buy one for that will work great......just my opinion. With all that said, I also want a band mill, but the one I want is not cheap and not in the cards right now. Timber king 1600 or larger is my goal. Final words.......chainsaw mill- highly portable, can mill massive logs, as loud as milling can possibly be, slow, very hard work.  Bandsaw mill- Big, if it can mill massive logs it is going to be very expensive, not as loud, very fast compared to chainsaw, much less physical but still very tough work. I'm sure that more could be added. I also have logs milled on a bandmill and operate it or help. In that case, there are fork lifts, fully hydraulic mill, etc... I have never used a small manual bandmill. I love milling and thinking abot it if you can't tell. Good luck with your desicions.
Furniture maker and wood collector.

Offline mike_belben

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Never let your saw run out of fuel when you start milling.  You arent gonna believe how hot theyll get.  Long cooldowns at idle are necessary.  So is running more oil in your mix.  It wont take long to understand why everyone is saying 90cc. 

I mill with a 95cc and its still slow as molasses.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline charles mann

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i bought a 460 rancher some years back (7yrs to be close) and it was garbage. didn't have the power needed for the cutting tasks or mostly cooking and heating wood. i traded it to my dad for his ole' husquvarna 372. 3 yrs ago, i bought a jonesred 2166 from tractor supply and it is equal to the 372s power and displacement. i milled some 24" eastern red cedar, some 20" 3yr dried red oak and some 30" dried pecan. the 2166 seemed to pull through it all, well enough, but yes, it was under powered, yet still did the job. i turned the oiler all the way up, and went slow, not getting in a hurry. i recently (2yrs ago) bought a stihl 661 and did a lil milling on 30" red oak, and i could definitely tell the difference between the jonesred and the stihl. save a few more dollars and get a saw that will have the power to mill up to 34", like the 661. going 34" is on the max end of the power requirements of the 661, but it gets the job done. 
Temple, Tx
Fire Fighting and Heavy Lift Helicopter Mech
Helicopter and Fixed Wing Pilot

Offline John Mc

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Some interesting stuff in the last few posts, but the last post in the thread was a year ago, and the last time the OP logged in was September 9, 2017.

I wonder if he's still around, what he ended up doing, and how it worked out.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline HolmenTree

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Some interesting stuff in the last few posts, but the last post in the thread was a year ago, and the last time the OP logged in was September 9, 2017.

I wonder if he's still around, what he ended up doing, and how it worked out.
I wonder what happened to Ada too.
He was last active here in April but from looking at his profile he lives in the Yarra Valley,which is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia.
He probably has no shortage of things to do. Hope he's ok though.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.


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