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Author Topic: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy  (Read 281 times)

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Offline AugC

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Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« on: September 15, 2020, 08:57:03 AM »
Good morn - hope all are well.  I am looking to buy a new or used saw shortly and need some advice.

While I have a good understanding of machines and equipment, I have almost no experience with chainsaws.  I believe I want a Stihl, either an MS 261 or the next size up.  I will be cutting wood on my property lightly, but mostly using the saw to stack up a nice woodpile to burn in my fireplace over the winter.  So I am thinking that per year I might run the saw 25-40 hrs approximately.

Most of the wood will probably be wood that I find listed "free if you haul it" on Craigslist or FB Marketplace so I don't know what size/type I will come across.

Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 09:12:06 AM »
Welcome AugC  I cut and burn some were around 10-15 cord a year. I run a Makatia 6400 series saw that been a good one. Have a Echo 300 series that has been a good saw. My main go to saw is a Stihl 461 and its been a great saw. Right now were are cutting a lot of hedge and wanted a little lighter saw as we are doing lots of brushing out so I bought a Stihl 261 new. Have ran the first six pack of oil threw it so around 12 gallons of mix. Saw is nice and light and has good power. I am running a 16 inch bar on mine but they say you could run a 20. They are a $600.00 dollar saw.   

Offline homeheater

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 10:44:00 AM »
One saw is hard to imagine, but if I could only have one it would be a 60cc (MS362) and multiple bar lengths.  It is difficult not knowing what wood you will be cutting.  I  know my wood and I burn 20-25 f.c. per year and could do most all with 16 to 18 inch bars.  There is a reason I have 9 saws from 43-50cc.  There is no way I am using my big saw with a 24" bar unless I have to.  Which equates to 1-2 tanks per year. 

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 11:36:09 AM »
What are you cutting and how big? A saw too small for the job will frustrate you, one bigger than you need will tire you out and waste money. In our softwoods an MS 261 with an 18" bar will do everything I would need, I will leave the bigger stuff for a younger man.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 07:41:17 PM »
For ~$700 you could get an echo cs400(40cc) and an echo cs590(60cc). That would be a versatile combo for collecting firewood.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 08:41:09 PM »
Echo is very good value for the dollar as long as a competent servicing dealer is available.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Southside

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 10:10:11 PM »
A big part of your decision should be influenced by dealer support, especially with auto tune saws.  Some dealers are nothing more than fancy retail shops, then there are the others.  Those that know how to diagnose and repair issues, not just throw parts at it, they will go to bat for you when warranty issues arise.  Personally I only run Husky now because the local Stihl dealer was useless, so I found a supplier that was worth the 45 minute drive.

Manufacturers would do well to keep a better eye on their retail representatives from a customer service standpoint.  

Good luck with your search and welcome to the Forum.  
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Offline JohnW

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Re: Newb needs advice on what type of saw to buy
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 10:54:35 PM »
Right, the dealer.  If you can find the dealer the loggers use (if there's any logging in your area), that's the one.  I'd say saws are high maintenance, so you need reliable support, or at least I do because I'm sort of a mechanical cluts.  Of course some guys can do all of their own maintenance and repair, and there will be some.


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