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Author Topic: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?  (Read 13718 times)

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Offline TheTexasRAT

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If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« on: October 13, 2013, 11:10:49 PM »
Ok, if you could only have one chainsaw to climb trees and limb out the tree and the same one chainsaw to fell a 36" trunk and cut the hole mess up into fire wood which Stihl chainsaw would you pick, and why?

My dad has a Stihl MS290 and I like it better than the Poulan saw I have, and now I want to get a Stihl chainsaw of my own. I understand that it is best to have at least 3 chainsaws to run the gambit of jobs but due to constraint of room in my ride I will only be able to have one onboard chainsaw to do everything. I am a handyman and do all kinds of jobs so I my ride is already loaded with tools, and there is just no way I can get 2 or 3 saws into the space I have.

At times I will just be cutting limbs and at others I will be cutting down big trees and reducing them to fire wood. I am wondering which Stihl chainsaw will be able to handle the big jobs while yet light enough to be convenient for the small ones.

I like the MS290, but being the MS310 and MS390 are the same weight and have more power it seems at face value that one of them (most likely the MS390) would be the better choice, yet I am wondering if there is actually an even better choice to make in the Stihl lineup? Need to keep in mind that at times I will have to be climbing in tree with it. And AV is a must!

I appreciate it if all thoughts be limited to the Stihl brand chainsaws. I also prefer Dodge over Ford, even though Ford has always made one hell of a ride. So keep in mind it is nothing personal against Husky (unless you take into account my friend's Husky chainsaw that kept shocking me) or other brands for that matter.

Offline JohnG28

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 11:55:44 PM »
I for one have a lot of tools also, and still 8 or 9 saws. ;D But to your question, I'd say an MS361 hands down. Wouldn't be my first choice to climb with but it is doable. Pro construction, lighter and more powerful 290/310/390 series. Love mine and it will do anything I ever had to do. It will handle larger wood but not super fast. I'd still rather use it than a 390 in bigger wood. If you're mostly in 18-20" stuff, along with limbing, topping, etc it will really shine. Right now though its replacement the 362 is around. Haven't run one but should be pretty similar, tab heavier. Also likely the other series will be 291/311/391, as they too have been replaced.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 12:23:35 AM »
I agree with that, and do everything with my MS361 w/20" bar.
It is a bit tight on the 36" you speak of, but worked on a soft maple that size.

I find it just the right size for limbing and bucking up firewood.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline TheTexasRAT

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 03:11:46 AM »
Also likely the other series will be 291/311/391, as they too have been replaced.

from what I saw at the store the other day these no longer have the easy toolless removable air-filter cover, and instead one will have to twist 3 screws 1/4 turn to get at the air-filter and/or spark-plug. This may not be a bad design even after having used one that has the easily finger removable cover being you have to have the scrinch handy to remove the air-filter anyway.

Anyway, as to y'all's replies to my question I have been searching ebay for a used MS361, and will also research online and/or make a trip to the dealer to get a better look at the MS362 before deciding which of the two I'd prefer to own.

Whichever I choose I will run a 20 inch bar on it.

It's good to get advice based upon experience, and for that I thank y'all for sharing.

Offline NCFarmboy

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 07:20:42 AM »
Agree with others on the MS361.  Best allaround Stihl saw IMO.
Shep
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Offline AdkStihl

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 08:39:43 AM »
044
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Offline JohnG28

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 11:32:22 AM »
If you plan to climb I'd say get the saw with a 20" bar then buy a 16" bar for climbing. I wouldn't want to swing 20" around in a tree for sure.
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Offline qbilder

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 11:34:09 AM »
I have an 029 and 390. I prefer the 029 to the 390. Also have a 460 & it's what I pretty much use most of the time. I don't find the 460 to be much bigger or heavier, but in terms of speed it is far superior. 
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Offline nmurph

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 12:00:01 PM »
Ported 346. It will hand a 361 it's butt in a sling, light enough to limb, strong enough to pull a 24" if needed.

Offline tolman_paul

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 12:05:56 PM »
There is no one saw that will work for climbing and limbing and felling and bucking large trees.  You'll either end up with something that is too heavy and dangerous when climbing, or something that is inadequate for felling and bucking.

Top handle saws come into their own when climbing and limbing, and for felling and bucking large trees you'll want a minimum of a 70cc saw, though an 80 or 90 would not be unreasonable for such large trees.

Offline gspren

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 06:33:56 PM »
  If I could only keep one saw I'd be very upset but would keep my 044, but I'm not climbing.
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Offline T Welsh

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 07:58:25 PM »
I be the third to endorse the 044,it can handle an 18" bar and all the way up to a 36"bar with out a problem. In fact I have 4 bars for my 044 and switch them regularly. If I had to pick two saws to do all around work they would be an 020T and a 044.Tim

Offline TheTexasRAT

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 09:05:30 PM »
If you plan to climb I'd say get the saw with a 20" bar then buy a 16" bar for climbing. I wouldn't want to swing 20" around in a tree for sure.
I have been up 3 big trees with the MS290 with a 20" bar so far and as you and another has mentioned it is rather awkward up there, and just barely doable. I would not at all want to have a heavier saw or a longer bar for sure up a tree. One thing I like about the MS361/362 is that it has about the same HP and is one pound less than the MS390. And I do like the idea of switching bars out to fit the situation. But I will say that I have cut 20" limbs at the first fork of the tree some 20 feet up. Some monster water-oaks here in southeast Texas. 

Offline martyinmi

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 09:17:44 PM »
  If I could only keep one saw I'd be very upset but would keep my 044, but I'm not climbing.
I'm definitely with ya on the climbing thing!
I told my boss 12 years ago that if he ever ordered me to climb one of our Harvestore silo's, I'd quit on the spot!
I hate heights more and more every year I age!
 My one choice(s) out of all of mine would be the Pro Mac 700, then the 555, followed by the MS 310.
Thats as far as I can narrow my choice(s) down to. :)
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 09:34:17 PM »
Nephew my goodness I'm 65 years of age and could climb a mile in the air if I had to .---I don't have to though ;D

Saw one of Stihls best  038 Mag which somebody tweeked . ;)Climber would be a Stihl 200T which that same someone enhanced .

Offline TheTexasRAT

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2013, 09:41:01 PM »
I have an 029 and 390. I prefer the 029 to the 390.
The 390 only weighs 2 pounds more, and has about 3/4 more horse.

Also have a 460 & it's what I pretty much use most of the time. I don't find the 460 to be much bigger or heavier, but in terms of speed it is far superior.
The MS 461 weighs 14-1/2 pounds and sports a whopping 6HP. 1-1/2 pounds heavier than the MS361 and 2-1/4 more HP. Nice to have that much HP, especially on the ground, but the MS290 at 12 pounds is already heavy up the trees. The MS 461 weighs in at 14-1/2 pounds. It seems that porting the MS361 would get me the extra HP neede on the ground all the while keeping things lite up the trees. And having to size bars, as John mentioned, would make it all the more versatile.

Offline clww

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2013, 09:44:39 PM »
Tough to do all this with only one saw, which is why I have 8 different Stihl models. If I had to use only one, I'd go with a one of these three: MS361, 044, or an MS460. I could not picture using any of these three as my daily climber, though. When I was doing tree removal as a tree service business, my usual climbing saw was an 028 with a 16" bar.
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Offline TheTexasRAT

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2013, 09:59:07 PM »
There is no one saw that will work for climbing and limbing and felling and bucking large trees.  You'll either end up with something that is too heavy and dangerous when climbing, or something that is inadequate for felling and bucking.

Top handle saws come into their own when climbing and limbing, and for felling and bucking large trees you'll want a minimum of a 70cc saw, though an 80 or 90 would not be unreasonable for such large trees.
I used to do it all with a poulan from WalMart (i.e.- quote "The Wild Thing"), and as you put it it was not so great on the ground. That is the main reason (other than an AV system) why I am wanting a bigger saw. As I stated already I have been up the trees with a Stihl MS290 and yes it is a bit awkward up there, but doable. But yes I would really like to get the weigh down. And yes the top handle saws are real nice up the tree as one can use one hand to hold onto the tree still. Something that is next to near impossible with the rear handle saw that weight 10 pounds +. But again I have used the MS290 up 3 trees and got by with it. A bit scary not having one hand to hold onto the trees with. Yet as I mentioned in another post that I need a 20" bar up the trees at the first forks. A little top handled saw would not suffice in these big wateroaks. The 16" bar on my Wild Thing was kinda small and inadequate in this area and even more so on down the trunks.

Offline TheTexasRAT

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2013, 10:02:26 PM »
I'm definitely with ya on the climbing thing!
I told my boss 12 years ago that if he ever ordered me to climb one of our Harvestore silo's, I'd quit on the spot!
I hate heights more and more every year I age!
I do not have a fear of heights, my feel is restricted to falling from heights. That said I like to tie myself in or hang on really tight up there.


Offline Full Chisel

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Re: If you could only have one chainsaw (to do it all)?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2013, 10:07:24 PM »



It's my Stihl MS261. I can cut anything within reason to stay supplied with Oak and Hickory for wood heat. It is probably the lightest saw available with its capability and powers a 20" bar in .063 gauge. If for some reason there was only one saw for each guy, I'll take one of these and guaranteed stay warm. The close up pic is a 16" bar with Rapid Super. The other bar is a 20" Stihl with a replaceable tip. That's the best bar to answer your question in another thread, Texas Rat. My avatar is the same saw. I use it every day.
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