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Author Topic: Husqvarna quality, how has it been compromised since sold at big box stores?  (Read 7184 times)

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Offline weimedog

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I guess I don't accept the premise that because Husqvarna and attached companies developed sales channels thru box stores, their over all quality went down. I think you have to think about it from the marketing perspective, as they have developed sales channels; they needed to build products at price points that will make those business ventures profitable and therefor worth while. I think they also have allowed dealers to respond by offering pricing that allows dealers to compete dollar for dollar with the box store saws while also giving dealers the edge with pro user/customers by having the pro saw sales channels still primarily power equipment dealers instead of box stores and tractor/farm stores.

My local TSC (Tractor Supply) used to have Husqvarna saws and their best was the 359 rancher series, along with 455's, 450's, 440's, etc. The new saw display from Jonsered has a 2266 as their top line saw for almost $700 dollars. We all know a 2166 is essentially a slightly down tuned 2172 (Transfer port caps that can be modified to flow like the 2172's!) So they are selling a true pro saw in the 2166. They also  have the 2152 and the rest of Jonsered's mid range and home owner saws with the exception of the 2258.

Interestingly enough, most of the Dealer's will sell the 2166 for less than TSC so WHY would a person looking for a pro level saw NOT got to a good dealer? Better or equal prices plus some real support for the same money on the pro level saws.

Back to the topic at hand. Since there have been $150-$200 dollar options in the market place for a long time, Husqvarna has provided a series of products to serve that lower level price point. The 440 series saws are alternatives to their Poulan based offerings. For that price point and market served , they are solid products.

At each price point in the saw market; Husqvarna has offerings either through the Husqvarna brand or though owned brands such as Jonsered or Poulan. I believe from what I have seen their product offerings are a match if not better than any brand out there measured by their price / performance / reliability. In addition they have some real killer bang per buck offerings in the 555/ Jred 2258, 455AT (Auto tune version of the 455), and 365/ Jred 2166 saws.

So I don't think the quality of the pro level offerings is at all effected by the products driven by the box store marketplace.
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 nmurph

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The 262 is all Husqvarna, and a great one at that. I am working on a rebuild of one right now.

Offline SawTroll

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Thanks for the input everyone. I certainly understand that a name doesn't make the saw. True in most industries. I'm just trying to learn a bit more about the Husky line of saws. Jonsered and Redmax seem to have some good ones to but I don't know if they're quality saws any more with Poulan in the mix. I'm particularly interested in learning about the Husky 261 as there's one on my local cl right now. The seller has totally rebuilt it and it has the 262XP top end. If the 261 was a true Husky I'm interested, but if it's a Poulan-made saw I'll pass it up. Keep the information coming guys. Thanks

The 261 is a "detuned" version of the 262xp, and was made by Husky in Sweden.
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Offline CTYank

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Since you keep bringing up RedMax and nobody takes the bait, I'll wager you won't see any of their saws at a big-box. They are serious saws, some few cuts above the green Poulans, IMHO. No way will you confuse them once you fire them up. Big-boxes are all about price.
Common corporate ownership no way means common products.
I'd be much more concerned about the decline of quality in the casual-user Stihls- things like rods stamped out of mild steel, bar studs mounted in plastic, little things like that.
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Offline JohnG28

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Common corporate ownership in no way means common products?!? Really? Hmm, ever look at the offerings of say, any car company? Saw companies? Dolmar/Makita and Husqvarna/Jonsered come to mind right off the top. ::)

As for box stores, they are like a Walmart for tools and the like IMO. Average person can walk in for about anything they want for their house, task, whatever and walk out with it. Quality of many things isn't as good as it was once. That said, my 142 came from Lowes, I think is a Poulan, and is a great little saw for what it is. I never tried to abuse it and it's never let me down.
Stihl MS361, 460 & 200T, Jonsered 490, Jonsereds 90, Husky 350 & 142, Homelite XL and Super XL

Offline Ianab

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Yeah, a company can own 2 brands, and build / price to different segments of the market.  Sure the ones you point out have a pretty common line up, they just have 2 dealer networks, but that's more of an exception.

Black and Decker / Dewalt for example. I won't say Dewalt are the Best tools out there, but they are an order of magnitude above the stuff sold with a B&D badge. Same company, and they address different markets with different brands.

Toyota and Lexus?

Stihl and Husky address different markets under the same umbrella. But they have "Pro" product, and they have homeowner product.  So the cheap Stihls aren't really that great, but don't tell the customers that.  ;) :D They think it's the same as the real lumberjacks use.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Spike60

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To answer the original question: No way does the offering of cheaper models compromise the quality of the pro stuff. Both Husky and Stihl moved into the lower price points years ago to fill the vacuum left by the departure of what was left of Homelite and McCulloch. But both companies have wisely not abandoned or neglected the higher end of the market.

Husky has split the low end biz between the Poulan stuff and some of the more decent models like the 445 and 455. Stihl covers those same market segments but has so far stayed out of the box stores. Both companies still retain their leading edge dominance of the saw market.

But still, a lot of people buy these products based on the strength of a brand name that was built on saws like the 372 and 044. So they get the cheapest one they can and there's really no way it's going to live up to the customer's expectations. So, that once admired brand now looks quite different in that customer's eye. Is he going to by another one? Taking the saws out of the discussion, look at the cheap John Deere tractors sold at Lowes and Depot. Just a low end machine, but the new owner rides around his yard with a big smile cause he's got himself a shiny new John Deere and his neighbors have Craftsmans and what not. 2 years later and the deck is falling apart along with a few other things and the smile on the guys face has turned to a frown. Again, Is he gonna run out and buy another one? The really sad part is that the numbers support the business model of capturing people like this with low end equipment even if there's a good chance he'll be disappointed with it. The guy who hates his MS170 and will never buy another Stihl is replaced buy a guy who hates his Husky 240.
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Offline JohnG28

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I'd say that was put perfect Spike.
Stihl MS361, 460 & 200T, Jonsered 490, Jonsereds 90, Husky 350 & 142, Homelite XL and Super XL

Offline brettl

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Thank you to everyone who's replied. I see the 455 mentioned a lot and there's been a large number of them pop up for sale over the last month or two on cl, most in the $400 range, might as well buy a new one for that, or better yet, one of these older pro rebuilds offered by some of you. I saw a 455 Rancher in pretty good shape at a pawn shop today for $200. Is there a way to tell the age of these saws without sending a serial number to the manufacturer? Has the 455 Rancher been strictly a big box store saw?

Offline SawTroll

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Thank you to everyone who's replied. I see the 455 mentioned a lot and there's been a large number of them pop up for sale over the last month or two on cl, most in the $400 range, might as well buy a new one for that, or better yet, one of these older pro rebuilds offered by some of you. I saw a 455 Rancher in pretty good shape at a pawn shop today for $200. Is there a way to tell the age of these saws without sending a serial number to the manufacturer? Has the 455 Rancher been strictly a big box store saw?

Not strictly - it is one of the low end plastic cased models that real dealers are willing to sell.
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Offline Mountain_d

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Seems the cheaper Husky models will have a chrome muffler while the pro series wil sport a black muffler.
1978 TJ 230E 3.9L Cummins 4B, Husky 372XP, Husky 61, Husky 266XP, JRed 625, Husky 265RX clearing saw,  Woodmizer LT40HD 1995, Kubota 4950DT (53hp 4WD), Wallenstein V90 Skidding Winch, John Deere 610 backhoe, 1995 Volvo White GMC WCA42T SA Dump Truck, 2004 Ford F-250SD 4WD, , Central Boiler OW

Offline Gdalesio

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 I just went through the same thing, I bought a 16" husquavarna from a box store and it did not run that good, ( maverick air). Had to get service at a off site authorized repair shop.   It's the consumer line that I purchased and is built by poulan, I returned it and bought a commercial Husquavarna 353 at a local small engine shop, oh my.... Now that's a saw, nice power to weight ratio, nice balance, low vibe, very happy with the saw.


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