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Author Topic: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread  (Read 1208 times)

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Offline ManjiSann

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Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« on: September 12, 2019, 10:18:31 AM »
So I have my 2 50cc Poulan Pro's which I really like and plan to keep running most of the time right now but I would like a bigger saw.

I'd like something that'll run a 28-30" bar with some authority. My expected uses for this saw would be milling (I know a bandsaw is a better option but it's not in the cards for a few reasons right now) and also to fell and buck larger diameter trees. At the moment I'll mainly be using it for the occasional weekend milling job but I expect/hope I'll be using it for bucking in the near future. I don't forsee using the saw in cold weather so a heated bar doesn't seem necessary to me.

I had been planning to stay with Husqvarna as that's who makes the Poulans but @Nebraska suggested I look at the Dolmar/Makitas and after perusing their website I'm interested in those. Right now one of the biggest sellers for the Makitas in my mind is they appear to use the same 3/8 .050 72L chains my Poulans use so I could make new chains for all 3 saws from the same roll thus simplifying logistics for me.

At the moment I'm not set on any one saw or brand but for the above stated logistics reason I'm strongly leaning toward one of the Makita 70-80cc saws.

I tend to try to fix and maintain my own equipment so having a dealer close to me isn't as important.

While I want to spend as little as possible I know you get what you pay for and I believe in the "Buy Once, Cry Once" mentality on this purchase so I'm willing to spend what I need to. I'm expecting to spend between $800-$1000.

Thanks all for chiming in,

Brandon
Poulan Pro 5020AV, Husky 390XP

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2019, 11:07:05 AM »
For buying new, you may want to look at the echo 800P. Bigger is better for milling, and with your stated bar sizes, I'd consider 80cc the minimum you'd want regardless of brand.

Offline ladylake

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 01:53:48 PM »
 
 Another vote for a Echo 800p, lots of torque which should suit milling fine. A Makita 80 cc should be a couple pounds lighter if your going to use it for firewood a lot.  Steve
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Offline barbender

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 03:35:58 PM »
I've never milled with a chainsaw, but from what I've seen on here guys that are serious about it are using a Husky 395XP or a Stihl 660 at a minimum. I'd only consider a smaller saw if it was only going to be one or two logs.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 03:39:49 PM »
I've never milled with a chainsaw, but from what I've seen on here guys that are serious about it are using a Husky 395XP or a Stihl 660 at a minimum. I'd only consider a smaller saw if it was only going to be one or two logs.
I only expect to do a few logs here and there for my personal use. 
Because I don't have the equipment to move huge logs I see 24" dia as the biggest and at that size 3-4' in length. Most will be smaller in diameter. I'd imagine it seems kinda silly or pointless for most but it'll work for what I want to do with the wood.
Brandon 
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Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 03:41:47 PM »
So far I'm leaning toward the Echo. At 2lbs more it'd be unpleasant to carry through the woods but as I expect to mainly do small scale milling and the occasional bucking job I think I can handle it.

Brandon 
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 03:47:20 PM »
I'd imagine it seems kinda silly or pointless for most but it'll work for what I want to do with the wood.
Brandon
Doesn't sound silly to me. I bought a 36" Granberg, and a 661cm just to see what it was like, with my only firm goal being making some trailer boards. So far, I've only made some 2" ash planks just to get used to the system. Have a bit more ash to do, and I'll make some thinner boards to make a half door for my kitchen. Objectively, I could buy a door and trailer boards for far less than the gear cost, but it's fun, and I did it myself. Money well spent imo.

Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 04:00:54 PM »
395 xp Husqvarna
Husqvarna 550xp , 2- 372xp and a 288xp, Chevy 4x4 winch truck

Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019, 04:39:03 PM »
Maybe one question I should ask is why is milling/ripping so hard on chainsaws? Is it because it's usually one continuous cut for long distance vs a shorter cut in a cross cut (ie a 4' run in a rip vs say a 2' run in a cross cut?)

Brandon 
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 04:57:06 PM »
You like to tinker. Maybe you should try one of the Holzfforma clones of ms660. 90cc for 330$. A few people on here have checked them out. I donít recall the details.  M.huztl.net

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Offline esteadle

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 06:00:57 PM »
Having just bought a chainsaw mill myself (Granberg - 36" C3, and a Stihl MS661) I'd recommend you buy the mill you want FIRST, then buying the chainsaw that will fit and work with it. 

Chainsaw milling is NOT just attaching a frame to your saw and cutting up logs lengthwise. It is a delicate engineering balancing act to match up and manage power, heat buildup, kerf, and width of cut.

Chainsaws are designed to very tight specs and requirements these days -- around all of those parameters. The multitude of chain pitches (3/8, .375, .404), Gauges (.050, .063), bar lengths, drive sockets, drive link counts, and horsepower (and weight) will be different for every single saw you consider. 

Most of the big width mills at Granberg, for example, will require a saw with a .404 pitch chain, and matching drive sprocket. If you buy a 3/8" pitch saw, your drive sprocket will need to be changed to drive a .404 pitch chain. When you do that, you will no longer match the power curve design of the powerhead that you selected and you may not have the torque you need to pull that chain through your width. 

For example, the difference between a Stihl 880 (.404 pitch) and a Stihl 661 (3/8 pitch) is how fast the drive sprocket turns and how much Torque is applied to drive that chain. The 661 revs higher but has less power and torque, and so it tends to "pulse" through a cut. The 880 has gobs of torque, but can't move the chain very fast, and so it tends to "lug" through a cut. 

So with that, let's ask... what Chainsaw mill do you think you'll buy? 
Timber Harvester 30HT26 (setworks, hydraulic) Stihl 880 (36" bar).

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 06:07:18 PM »
You like to tinker. Maybe you should try one of the Holzfforma clones of ms660. 90cc for 330$. A few people on here have checked them out. I donít recall the details.  M.huztl.net
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Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 06:12:12 PM »
I was going to weld up something similar to the Granberg Alaskan mill.

Brandon 
Poulan Pro 5020AV, Husky 390XP

Offline barbender

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 06:20:56 PM »
I don't think what you want to do is silly at all (not that it would matter if I did!). I guess what I'm trying to say is sometimes when you try to get something that is good at too many things, it ends up doing none of them very well. If it's a small amount of milling, I don't see why an 80cc saw wouldn't work. And again, I've never milled any lumber with a chainsaw myself so take what I have to say with a large grain of salt. I've ripped a few whole 40' long logs in half with a saw before for sills on a log house, and I did that with a 65cc saw and it worked fine. I'll let the guys with personal experience comment on why bigger is better for milling.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Southside

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 08:20:04 PM »
A BIG question you have to answer first is what brand has a great dealer close to you who knows how to service your saw? 

That answer is worth much more than a 2 lb weight advantage or 1/4 claimed HP bump.

I became a Husky guy when my local Stihl dealer kept causing me issues when he couldn't fix a 660. Found a Husky dealer who is beyond phenomenal from a customer service perspective and makes the additional 30 minute drive worth every second. 
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2019, 07:34:41 AM »
@Southside is right about the dealer thing, I don't have a "good husky dealer" close a big shop or two in Omaha don't want to go there for service. Stihl dealership is closer and they are  ok but in a pseudo big box hardware chainstore it's still  "city". Dolmar dealer is same amount of time away from home in a town of 500 ish, he fixes lawnmowers, all sorts of equipment, skidsteers, vehicles not much he won't try. He knows me by name, I work on his secretary's animals. 
He has this sawdust bug, a bunch of wood stickered and stacked in a special loft upstairs in his shop. He milled it himself with a woodmizer he overhauled for a fellow a couple towns over. 
 I have had experience with a husky 365 clone a friend has, works fine he had a couple minor quirks at the begining, but it runs well. He worked at small engine shop in high school and is really handy.  
Right now the saws I grab the most are two cub cadet commercials I picked up really reasonable second hand  they seem as nimble as my 5100 Dolmar, which reminds me I need to run up to "Mel's" and get  it , I had it worked on. 

Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2019, 08:50:32 AM »
Southside makes a good point. I'll have to start looking into what dealers are around and how good they are. I tend to do a lot of servicing myself but there's always that one part that is only available to dealers so it's good to know where a good one is.

I have plenty of time to decide which saw to get as I will be pinching pennies to get it and I just found out one of the sources of income may have temporarily dried up. Not a big deal just means the "fun money" may be a bit more limited than I'd thought. So until then I'll have to enjoy learning on the 2 saws I already have.

Thanks,

Brandon 
Poulan Pro 5020AV, Husky 390XP

Offline ManjiSann

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2019, 01:32:07 PM »
In an unexpected twist an Echo 800p is in the local paper for a VERY good price and I'm trying to see if I can go check it out. Seller claims its in like new condition...

Assuming it isn't sold by the time I can go look at it what should I be looking for?

Figured I'd take an elm log I just picked up with to test it in the cut.

Remove the muffler and check piston and walls for scoring? 

I may have a compression tester still, assuming it'd fit I could try that but it's not exactly top of the line so I'm not sure if it's worth it or not.

For the most part if she fires up and runs and will cut is that usually a decent indicator of being in good shape?

Trying not to get too excited but dang it'd sure be cool if I could post a pic of a new chainsaw in the stables  8)

Brandon 
Poulan Pro 5020AV, Husky 390XP

Offline barbender

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2019, 01:55:12 PM »
If I was selling a saw I wouldn't be too keen on someone trying to pull the muffler off. I'd let them do a compression test though.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline reride82

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Re: Yet another What Saw Should I Get thread
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2019, 02:09:53 PM »
I've used a husqvarna 395xp for milling in the past and it worked well, and I've used a 372xp in desperation which was very slow. In my opinion a 70cc saw would be the absolute minimum. the 800p looks to be a decent saw and it has gotten good reviews. If it fits your budget, I'd say go for it!

Levi
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