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Author Topic: Clone saws.  (Read 6347 times)

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Offline Phil_Oz

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Clone saws.
« on: December 19, 2018, 04:28:20 AM »
Its been raining a lot here lately, so I've spent a lot of time on the 'puter. A byproduct of getting into this forum is I've read many threads and (I think) started exploring the saw subculture that is out there.

One thing I have found is that the (usually Chinese) clones that are out there have a real following - Farmertec/ Holzfforma being one example.

Many of the hard core saw users seem to go for a clone of the bigger Stihls and Huskys, mod them, put selected OEM parts on them, and seem to get a good package going for way less than half the price of an OEM saw.

Yes, there are some issues I can see with copyright for example - Stihl and Husky put a lot of R&D into these designs - only to have the chinese simply copy them.

On the other hand, I'm in Oz - even taking exchange rate into account, we probably pay up to twice what you guys in Nth America do (that is probably an agent/wholesaler issue, but the OEMs DO licence said wholesalers too - so the ethics of it cuts both ways IMHO).
Is a clone saw really all that different in principle to aftermarket parts?

Do any of you have some stories to tell, or opinions to air, on clone saws?




Stihl MS291, Stihl MS170, Husqvarna Rancher 50 (~86 model).

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 07:24:06 AM »
After market parts have pretty well been around as long as chainsaws.
I remember in the 1980's Taiwanese and Italian made parts were popular.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 09:24:27 AM »
Phil_Oz
I too have thinking about these clone saws. I could use a 90cc saw for that once in a while tree on the farm that the Stihl 461 needs a little help. I have ran and installed a bunch of the HF knock off Honda engines on a wide variety of equipment and have had zero issues with them. I am just not sure they have got the chain saw quality to that level or not. Sounds like folks are making the kit saws  work if they sub some oem parts in the right areas. I don't think I am ready quiet yet to lay down my money for one.  

Offline weimedog

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 10:46:39 AM »
I've had a bit of experience with them. A couple of things that might not be obvious...first. I really don't like cutting up a perfectly good or new OEM stock saw. Hard to beat a well setup with a sharp chain pro saw from any of the major manufacturers. I am going somewhere with this..:) Second, the OEM's such as Stihl and Husqvarna spend gazillions of dollars for research and testing to make certain their saws meet the needs of their customers AND from a service stand point, their dealers. And do this with the constraints placed by politics and the resultant governmental regulations. So with all that I appreciate the good OEM's even more, and to all who will listen; my opinion is a good OEM pro saw is the best solution for 90 percent of the folks out there, from farmers to pro's as a cost effective tool.

For me, and I can only speak for myself, as I said; I really avoid cutting up a good OEM saw. You can go back through ALL my postings and interactions over the years and that will ....become apparent. The aftermarket thing happens in all things where there is past sales volume and enough wear related repair to justify a company to tool up and compete for those repair parts. And even complete machines in some cases, witness the Harley Davidson world with complete motors, or the lawn mower world with copy Honda motors. Look at all the "AR" variants out there.

So this new "twist" of complete saws isn't new. But still I'm conflicted. In some cases, especially with saws no longer produced or supported, aftermarket is a blessing for those who like to keep the old things running. For me they have provided a source of things to cut up and personalize, something as defined in paragraph one I don't like to do with OEM saws. For that matter most of the modifications/experimentation I have done over the decades started with saws run past their service life and why not hack at them for fun? For me, the new Aftermarket stuff gives me cheap raw material to explore while leaving my OEM's as shelf queens..:) A twist honestly I never could have anticipated. And I've done a lot of work with those creations. Built "used up" OEM's, hacked up AM's, and blends. That's the hobby for me.

Those compete AM saws? Better than the kits from what I can see. And for some a place to start that doesn't require the skills and tools a kit does. Nothing I have seen to this point leads me to believe these AM saws are and alternative solution to a serious saw user for the much better build quality of the OEM's. Nothing. The ones I see still will need tactical replacement of parts to be truly useful and over the years the AM parts have been a moving target so nothing I have seen has changed my view of that even with these compete saws. So I will continue to say to all who will listen, if you expect to spend money on AM and get OEM levels of quality and reliability you will be disappointed. If you are a pro and see a cheap alternative, you too will be disappointed, that's a bad business move. If you are a hobbyist and don't mind debugging these things and infact expect too, you can have a lot of fun with these saws, and the complete build might be a way to skip past skill and tool issues. I was able to develop the 660 versions into a useful tool, but it took.....2 years of learning what had to be swapped out and modified. Was that a cost effective use of time?? Heck no!! But hobby time isn't measured or quantified and work or business time. It was a challenge and fun for me. A reason to use the Lathe and now a mill. Just my experience. And its all documented. Looks like the 372 AM series are going to be about the same. This stuff is not for everyone...not OEM. With the typical mindset, a huge waste of time and money. So if a person goes that way, please do it eyes open.

AND please consider from a cost / quality perspective, I was able to do the same hack and tack approach to OEM Husqvarna 390's and MAKE money as the results were something I felt good about selling. ALL OEM rebuilds. Picked over a box of 385/390 bones bought from a logger, they were used up. Added time and some new parts, put about $500 into the project. Sold two for $350 each. Hobby turned "cost positive". That's the alternative to the AM thing. I am going to do more of that, starting with Husqvarna 372's, Stihl 441's and 461s. Stay tuned.
Husqvarna 365sp/372xpw Blend, Jonsered 2171 51.4mm XPW build,562xp HTSS, 560 HTSS, 272XP, 61/272XP, 555, 257, 242, 238, Homelite S-XL 925, XP-1020A, Super XL (Dad's saw); Jonsered 2094, Three 920's, CS-2172, Solo 603; 3 Huztl MS660's (2 54mm and 1 56mm)

Offline Phil_Oz

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 05:43:52 PM »
....If you are a hobbyist and don't mind debugging these things and infact expect too, you can have a lot of fun with these saws, and the complete build might be a way to skip past skill and tool issues....
Thanks for the thoughtful reply - that's the takeaway for me.

....I would buy a saw a month if I let my discipline down, but don't - SWMBOB ('her inside') wouldn't be impressed any ways I'm sure - but she is somewhat used to me having old radios and camp stoves collecting in dark places anyway.
I'm just getting into this as a hobby - retirement looms and IMHO you need a variety of things to do - not that I have much of a problem with that.

Clones do attract for the reasons you outline for a hobbyist. They could also be a cheap pathway to a big saw for very occasional use - and otherwise sit on the shelf as a conversation piece.
Stihl MS291, Stihl MS170, Husqvarna Rancher 50 (~86 model).

Offline mredden

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 02:09:59 PM »
Its been raining a lot here lately, so I've spent a lot of time on the 'puter. A byproduct of getting into this forum is I've read many threads and (I think) started exploring the saw subculture that is out there.

One thing I have found is that the (usually Chinese) clones that are out there have a real following - Farmertec/ Holzfforma being one example.

Many of the hard core saw users seem to go for a clone of the bigger Stihls and Huskys, mod them, put selected OEM parts on them, and seem to get a good package going for way less than half the price of an OEM saw.

Yes, there are some issues I can see with copyright for example - Stihl and Husky put a lot of R&D into these designs - only to have the chinese simply copy them.

On the other hand, I'm in Oz - even taking exchange rate into account, we probably pay up to twice what you guys in Nth America do (that is probably an agent/wholesaler issue, but the OEMs DO licence said wholesalers too - so the ethics of it cuts both ways IMHO).
Is a clone saw really all that different in principle to aftermarket parts?

Do any of you have some stories to tell, or opinions to air, on clone saws?





Actually, the word for design protection of mechanical designs is "PATENT" rather than "copyright" but I'm just nitpicking there. In the U.S., Germany, Sweden and most other countries, patent rights only last 20 years. Imagine if Crapper Ltd. was the only company that could make toilets. It appears to me that the saws sold by Farmertec/Holz/Hutzl are copies of saws which are well over 20 years old. Thus, the originators like Stihl and Husqvarna have no ownership of the saw design.
The 070 clone appears to be very popular. Stihl no longer manufacturers them (at least for the US and Western European countries). They have moved on to lighter, more efficient, safer and less polluting designs that they have patented. I doubt Stihl still even makes 070 parts anymore. (I could be wrong, but I can't see that being cost effective for them).
Anyway, I'm just glad that Farmer/Holzff/Hutzl are becoming something of a recognizable name because that MAY cause them to be more demanding of quality control by the (probably independent) manufacturers they buy from.

Offline Air Lad

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 04:15:25 AM »
Its been raining a lot here lately, so I've spent a lot of time on the 'puter. A byproduct of getting into this forum is I've read many threads and (I think) started exploring the saw subculture that is out there.

One thing I have found is that the (usually Chinese) clones that are out there have a real following - Farmertec/ Holzfforma being one example.

Many of the hard core saw users seem to go for a clone of the bigger Stihls and Huskys, mod them, put selected OEM parts on them, and seem to get a good package going for way less than half the price of an OEM saw.

Yes, there are some issues I can see with copyright for example - Stihl and Husky put a lot of R&D into these designs - only to have the chinese simply copy them.

On the other hand, I'm in Oz - even taking exchange rate into account, we probably pay up to twice what you guys in Nth America do (that is probably an agent/wholesaler issue, but the OEMs DO licence said wholesalers too - so the ethics of it cuts both ways IMHO).
Is a clone saw really all that different in principle to aftermarket parts?

Do any of you have some stories to tell, or opinions to air, on clone saws?




Interesting video's Phil_Oz. 
I bought a Chinese version of something from Trade Tools about 9 yrs ago
It's  a 51.2cc/20 inch bar 325 chain  the original I haven't a clue ? 
They still sell an upgraded version and call it a Renegade
Anyway what I wanted to say is that apart from a failed coil at 3 months (warranty)this beast had gone great
I am not a pro . Just cut heaps of firewood and maintain a couple of propertys
The timber being cut for the fire is predominantly Ironbark which is fairly testy on a saw
It has an adjustable oiler, alloy body with plastic covers, Walbro carby, Oregon bar.
Got better saws now but cannot part with this as a backup
I'm new but willing to weigh in
Cheers

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 08:54:33 AM »
I too have been thinking of one of these for those 'once in a while' trees. Looking at the 372XP clone (71cc) and the question that holds me back is: You buy this saw off the internet and it shows up, but when it doesn't run, has a defective part, or the blasted computer needs an 'update' where do you go? Nobody locally is gonna touch these saws, I wouldn't if I was a service guy. How are these guys with warranty parts? Anybody know? Right now I am thinking 'you pays your money, you takes your chances' and you are on your own. Curious what others have found.
Tom
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Phil_Oz

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 06:55:22 PM »
.... Nobody locally is gonna touch these saws, I wouldn't if I was a service guy. How are these guys with warranty parts? Anybody know? Right now I am thinking 'you pays your money, you takes your chances' and you are on your own. Curious what others have found.
Tom
True, but i think weimedog's comment holds true. If you go this route, it's best suited to a hobbyist who is willing to tinker on his own workbench. You don't have to - but if you need support - that support is you.
Stihl MS291, Stihl MS170, Husqvarna Rancher 50 (~86 model).

Offline Craig_S

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 10:03:46 PM »
While I was on seasonal layoff this winter (the first time that ever happened and it was wonderful), I bought a complete aftermarket 070 and a "kit" 660.

Put the kit together with ONLY parts that came with it (no OEM). Before that my chainsaw experience was limited to changing chains and adding gas and oil. My kit had no labeling at all, and with no experience I had to watch literally hours of YouTube and take pages of notes to figure out what went where and in what order.  

The 070 is my dedicated mill saw (in a Chinese Granberg copy of course). I ordered the 070 direct from Hutzl in China before I read about the 660's and also before I found HL Supply. Not knowing when the Chinese shipment would arrive (turned out to be less than two weeks) and second guessing my saw choice, I decided to order the 660 from HL Supply. I'm glad I have the 070 for milling but was at first disappointed I spent the money on it - until I used it. Now I could almost do without the 660. Patience and research were never my thing.

Both saws started on the second or third pull the first time and have every time after that as well. I never had a big saw before these and probably never would have spent the money to get a legit Still either. To me they were a great way to try this hobby without a huge investment and I couldn't be happier. If either one of them ever explodes or is abducted by aliens it'll get replaced with the same thing.

Craig

Offline air1514

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2020, 02:58:05 PM »
I too have been thinking of one of these for those 'once in a while' trees. Looking at the 372XP clone (71cc) and the question that holds me back is: You buy this saw off the internet and it shows up, but when it doesn't run, has a defective part, or the blasted computer needs an 'update' where do you go? Nobody locally is gonna touch these saws, I wouldn't if I was a service guy. How are these guys with warranty parts? Anybody know? Right now I am thinking 'you pays your money, you takes your chances' and you are on your own. Curious what others have found.
Tom
You take the same chances when buying new Stihl saws for commercial use. The warranty is only 30 or 60 days I think.   I bought a new 661 and after about 3 months , it ran so rich couldn't hardly even use it. I took it in and they worked on it but then tried charging me like 300 bucks for parts and labor. I threw a fit to Stihl and they covered the parts while I paid for the labor. Saw ran good for about 3 more months and the same again. It's been sitting in a corner ever since. I'm not putting 200 dollars into it every 3 months.  

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2020, 05:14:14 PM »
The post you replied to is over a year and a half old. I did buy that saw and it runs darn good and cuts like a bandit. It's not a Husky, but I know that and have different expectations. It has had minor issues, all 5 minutes fixes. I'm happy with it.  But in the 16 months I have had it, only have about 15 tanks of gas through it, so there is that.
As for your issue, that is admin edit to me. You need to find another dealer. Fight with you over a 3 months old saw? then doe the work, get paid for it, and you have the same problem? There is a rat in that woodpile somewhere.
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Online Spike60

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2020, 07:11:12 AM »
Can be interesting when older threads are brought back to life. Occasionally any of us could have a different take on something a year or 2 later.

I agree with Old Greenhorn's comments. For occasional use and need for a larger saw these things are not a bad alternative. There is a risk, and as long as the buyer can live with that, have some fun with it. There is a place or "room" for these things in the saw world. We do actually work on the clone 372's once in a while. I got a 372 kit from weimedog and got to see it part by part. It can be maintained with OEM parts. And there are more models coming.

Another reason that hobby/collector guys can fine these interesting is it's a second chance to get a model that is no longer made, and at a low price. There's reportedly a 288 coming. Yes it's not the real thing, but try and find a 288 in real nice shape out there. :)

What has changed though the last two years is that there are several "dealers" out there that are buying the 10 packs of these saws and then retailing them. This is HUGELY illegal. The reason these saws can no longer be sold is because they are no longer emissions compliant designs. Not a big deal for an individual buying a saw direct for themselves. "Hey, I went online and ordered a saw. What do I know?" But setting yourself up as a dealer; well now you are an "importer" in the eyes of the EPA. Sooner or later, one of these poor guys is going to be really poor; as in pennyless. The fines will be staggering.
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Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Clone saws.
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2020, 10:31:48 AM »
There's kind of an ironic tragedy in all this. The AM saws are usually based on older OEM designs, right? Well, to me it's more fun to get the real OE saws and source parts to make them well again. I can't speak for Squeal anything, but I can for Jonsereds and the big Huslky 2100.  

To me, that's the "hobby" part, bringing these old gals back to their former glory. In truth, if the AM's came out with a 2100 clone, I'd be very interested in the parts themselves that aren't critical; like top covers and AF covers etc. 3D printing was going to save all the hobbies across the world by printing up obsolete and unobtainium parts. Except for things like the plastic fan on a J'reds 70E, printing has been a dismal failure for the average saw hobbyist. The machines that can make durable parts are insanely expensive, commercial and they take many hrs to make just one part. This understandably leaves a high price tag for rendered parts.

Someday, 3D printing will be a salvation in a different landscape then now and after I'm dead. Right now I hold no stock in it for our hobbies. I guess what I'm saying is....for the amount of hrs devoted into making AM saws work with OEM parts, doesn't it make more sense to find the real deal used and make it whole again? Or is it just the 'challenge' thing to some?

Analogous to buying a pure-bred dog. Honest pure-bred breeders spend their lifetimes holding to a breed standard set in the AKC(US). All the breeds that you know and love are still around because of good breeders from eons past. But if you want a lookalike or just a dog companion, you can go down to the pound and buy any mutt cheap.

Which is more interesting and pertinent to your particular hobby needs? Well, that's a choice for only you to decide.

Kevin


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