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What kind of Chainsaw to buy

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IRTEXN
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 51 Texas
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2002-10-29          44404


Looking for feedback on chainsaws. I need to get one to clean up my place. Mostly large (2") brush, cutting a couple of scrubby trees that will never amount to anything and also a couple of dead ones that need to come down. Nothing over 14 - 16" in dia. I have looked to Stihl, Echo, Poulan and Sears 16" saws. Teh Sithl and Echo seem to be the Caddilacs of the bunch, but I'm not sure I'll get the $100+ worth of use. Any help here would be appreciated

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-10-29          44411


There are a number of options certainly a bow saw would work to trim them down and cut them up but would take some time. If you have access to electrical power you might consider an electric chain saw.
I personally I have Husqvarnas. They are a good saw for a professional but more expensive than most. ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-10-30          44415


Why not go to Wally World and buy the cheapest Poulan they have. If you're not going to be using it much, cheap will be much better.

By the way, Poulan makes Sears and most Husqvarnas, along with many other brand names.

Billy ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2652 NorthWest NJ
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2002-10-30          44417


I have only owned Stihl chainsaws. I once bought an inexpensive gas powered Brand for my Dad because he only wanted to cut the occasional Limb. After we got it and used it we found that cheap is cheap, and ease of use was just not there. In fact it was so bad it just sat around until after years it was thrown out.

Of course that was a long time ago, and some of the low end brands may have improved somewhat.

A chainsaw is fundamentally a dangerous tool, so buying one that you feel comfortable with is important. Because of this I usually buy the more expensive saws. When you pay more you get "Lighter weight" for size, and more importantly a "balanced saw".

If you buy an unwieldly saw operator fatique leads to sloppiness which leads to accidents. Poor saw design leads to improper saw setup, which leads to frustration and accidents.

Unfortuantely, chainsaw accidents are very unforgiving. So my too cents is to spend a little extra, you are not buying a weed wacker, this is a serious tool. I think the bottom end Stihl is around $200.

DennisCTB
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PS

I have a 16" Limb saw, and an 18" saw that weighs about 10 pounds. Both have the super tooth aggressive design that gives more kickback if you make a misstake. Both are balanced so that with one finger on the handle the saw is parallel to the ground in all directions, this is a good test you should try in the store. Even though both are balanced the 16" limb saw is vastly easier to use and I can cut much longer with it than the 18" saw. So if you have limited use I would definitely stay with the 16". ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-10-30          44418


Before I'd spend 200 bucks on something you might use once a year around the house, I would go electric (as Peters mentioned).

Billy ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-10-30          44428


I have a Husky 257 with a 16" bar. It has more power and about half the weight of a formerly well known 20" yellow thing I bought at a box store. The yellow thing was so aggravating that I was going to throw it into the dump but gave it to a neighbour for his yard sale. Now I've probably cursed somebody else with it. I don't think the yellow thing company is in the chainsaw buz any longer and deservedly so but the name has popped up on hand tools.

I had an electric in the city. It was inexpensive and worked well, but you do have to plug them in. It's common around here to throw a chain saw in the truck when traveling on logging roads because you never know if a tree is going to be across the road. No plugs there. If I was going cheap and had a plug available I'd probably stick with an electric. But then, I'm left-handed and chain-saws seem to be designed for right-handed people so maybe I'm particular. I'd rather flip a switch than yank left-handed on a right-handed saw that's hard to start. There are safety issues for left-handed people as well.

I think I heard that Wallyworld has it's own specs and some manufacturers produce what might seem like the same models in several lines but of various quality. I don't know but that might be true for Poulin, but I've always heard the Poulin is a good choice for inexpensive chainsaws. I've also heard that Husky or Stihl are the choices for more expensive saws. However, I've also heard that Stihl may be making a box store line, but its pro models are the same high quality as always.
....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2002-10-30          44433


I've got one of those yellow things. Mac 610. Bought it at JC Penny in 1979. It will not die. I have left it outside, dropped it off the truck, left the same gas in it for two years, cut down some real big trees and started it in sub 0 weather. I have never even changed or cleaned the spark plug. I wouldn't mind getting another saw but I can't do that until I figure out a way to kill this one. ....

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What kind of Chainsaw to buy

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DavesTractor
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 148 Red Bluff, California
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2002-10-30          44435


Mark, my father in law has an older Mac. They made a good machine back then. He just recently ran over it with his trailer. He says it was an accident, but I'm thinking he was just ready for a new saw. I once bought a cheapy and it caused me a bunch of frustration and lost time. I now have a small Stihl for trimming and a larger one for the big stuff. My little Stihl is an 011 model, and I have cut three cords a year for 12 years with it with very little maintenance. As with all tools, buy good ones. If you do decide to go cheap, I have heard that many people are satisfied with the Wally World Poulans. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2002-10-30          44436


Something I use more than the chain saw is a folding japanese pruning saw. You would have to experience this tool to believe how sharp it is. I cut through 2" stuff in 15 seconds. Just broke an inch and a half off the tip yesterday cutting through a 5" cedar tree so I will be looking for a new one today.
Click the link for pics. If you get one you will not be sorry. ....


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BillMullens
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 649 Central West Virginia
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2002-10-30          44444


Mark, I have a Mac 610 of about the same vintage. Dad bought it new when we started heating with wood; he never used it much because he had a bunch of old "yard-sale" saws that he fixed up he would rather use. He'd carry on old Remington saw and a whole tool kit before he'd use the new saw. He gave it to me last year. I used it a lot until I got a little Husky (136); it's their smallest saw but adequate for probably 1/2 of my firewood needs. It sure is smoother than the big Mac.
Bill ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-10-30          44446


Bill, I have a Husky 41, which is the next size bigger than yours. They are great little saws. I believe the 41 was replaced with the 141 and the 36 was replaced with the 136 a couple of years ago.

Billy ....

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IRTEXN
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 51 Texas
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2002-10-30          44450


Thanks for the input everyone. I ended up buying a Stihl today. A small one 017 w/ 16" chain. No more that I have to do, I think it will serve me well. I was ready to go the cheap route, but stumbled upon a dealer in all places...Cut -N- ShootTx who shot me a price just $40 more than the Poulan or Craftsman so I bit. Testing starts tomorrow. Thanks again ....

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Steve in Buffalo NY
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2002-10-30          44453


I don't recall what I paid for my 16" homelite but it was pretty cheap. Starts right up, cuts good, still original chain. Just don't cut much dirt and the chains last....

Anybody know where to buy a timber jack? I have seen them used but can't find one around. ....

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DonM
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2002-10-30          44455


I have seen this question posted on several forums over the past few years. Usually it is the same answer over and over. Buy a Stihl or a Husky and you won't regret it.
I bought a Stihl 021 with 16" bar for the mid-$200's and it is really a nice unit.
....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-10-30          44472


Billy;
Althought Husky and Poulan are part of the same congomerate, Electrolux, they are not the same saw nor are they made in the same factory. Having used Huskies for some 30 years or more and owned Poulans for about the same period, I can say that Poulans have improved from the connection but I am not sure Husqvarna has.
Almost all the saws are made by Electrolux but Stihl.
....

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What kind of Chainsaw to buy

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-10-31          44475


You are right about Electralux Home Products making Poulan and Husky, along with many other brands. The smaller Huskies and built right along with the Poulans in the DeQueen AR plant. They do however have their own specs. The Husky is a much better saw, which is reflected in the price.

Billy ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-10-31          44478


I know the original question was answered and a Stihl bought. I'll carry on a bit never the less. I imagine that Huskies and Stihls have similar power to weight ratios. I can't say enough about how important having a saw with a good ratio is for anybody who uses a saw for more than a few hours at a time. A couple of years ago I used my 257 as the main tool in building a cedar rail fence, well the tractor did dig the postholes. I used the saw to cut notches in the posts and rails and then a splitting wedge to knock out the notch and a chisel to tidy up. Trying to cut notches in vertical posts with a heavy saw would have taken Popeye rather than me. On the other hand, trying to do the rest of my work with a light saw that has no power would take Methuselah rather than me.

My main criteria for a saw is if it feels comfortable, after that I look at how long a bar is recommended by the manufacturer. In the case of my homeowner Husky 257, that's 22" and I have a 16" bar on it. It's light and I can always put a longer bar on it to tackle bigger stuff. Husky offers an anti-kickback system on some of its models but I don't know if 257's are included. It's a pendulum that activates the brake if the saw moves rapidly. I don't know how well it works, but it sounds like a very good idea.

My wife found an old Mac lying on a dirt cellar floor at what became our camp. The cellar was given flooding and even so the Mac may still have worked if I tried. Far as I'm concerned yellow was the only thing that Mac and the one I bought in a box store have in common.

....

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firefighter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 0 Baton Rouge, LA
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2002-11-02          44542


stihl,that's all. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-11-02          44554


This is a 'what's possible' question. Somewhere I hear of a capstan winch available for chainsaws. I always thought that meant large chainsaws and probably Stilh.

Last winter we had to change the snowshoe trail we use to go for the mail because beaver left a bunch of big poplars on toothpicks and as leaners. At the time I thought about the chainsaw winch and wondered if such a thing could be used to try to get some of these trees all the way down. The issue sort of went away because the beaver works were threatening a rail line and the company paid trappers a bounty to get rid of the beaver. Somebody, probably the electrical power company whose land it is, took down the trees and hauled most of them away. I still wonder about the chainsaw winch thing though.

When I heard that Electrolux makes chainsaws, an image of some sort of hybrid between a chainsaw and a Dustbuster arose. Wonder if such a thing would sell?
....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-11-02          44555


Billy;
I had noticed that the Husky saws are now less expensive and assumed it was the dollar exchange. I could see no reference the AR in the Husky site, but SC.
Stihl has been producing saws in the states for a while I guess that Husky needed to do the same to compete.
I have used both in falling on the west coast years ago, but have not used the newer Stihls, only looked at them. At the time, I started nearly 30 years ago, both saws had been in service for a number of years. The forest industry in B.C. always sought out the best.
Husky invented the antivibe systems and theses were a real God send. On a large saw after a day of running you could bearly unclench your hands.
As a kid we had an old Canadian with 36" bar that was about as loud and as pleasant as you can imagine. Your ear would ring with ear plugs in.
I am happy that some people like the Stihl. Interms of longevity it was King in the woods. As with anything there is a trade off. Power to weight was better on the Husky, but looking at the numbers now they are about the same. The main reason I like the Huskies is the balance of the saw. If you are working with the saw most of the day and packing it around it make a difference.
Yes the Stilh might last 2 years in the woods and the Huskies only one and 1/2 but the side cutting with Huskies cut more woood so most camps went with the Huskies. ....

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buck
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 5 Alabama
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2002-11-04          44601



Stihl...and get the one that fits you or you won't be happy, regardless of the manufacturer. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2002-11-04          44606


I've owned a Stihl O-66 Magnum for almost 10 years and never had a minutes trouble with it. I also have a Homelite Super 2...... Let's just say that I have an O-26 Pro in my future. For what you are wanting to do, and O-26 would be fine. Make sure you get the carry case.

John Deere makes the CS-36, 40, or 46 chain saw which are also a very good saws. Check them out at your JD dealer. There is not alot of mark up on the chain saws but if you don't think your dealer is giving you a good price, contact me and I will price one out for you and UPS it to you. ....

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DH83
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2002-11-04          44612


I had a 026 for a while and decided to trade for a 036,
much more power and rpm,but the 026 was lighter.I love
the stihl saws but the parts are very expensive...bar&chain
for a 036 is $90 bucks.Are the Husky parts that expensive?
Chief, I have ran the 066 and 086,it takes a pretty big
pair to run those saws all day.I split 4 pickup loads of
red elm yesterday....needless to say I slept good last night. ....

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What kind of Chainsaw to buy

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Kyle_in_Tex
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 24 Austin, Tx.
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2002-11-04          44613


Chief, My father in law bought 2 JD chainsaws about 2 months ago. I've been the one to use them the most. Actually start and run really good. They are made in Italy. I wish I knew which company made them. I can't exactly remember the models but I think the small one is a CS-36 (about $175) and the big one was a not quite $300. So far I've wore out two chains on the small one and 1 on the big one. I like the light one better but it can't do the big jobs so well. I'm going to try and start a thread on pole saws, I bought a Shindaiwa and the motor runs great. The pole seems a bit flimsy but is this normal for pole saws? It has a splined shaft inside the tube instead of a cable. It is rated for professional duty but time will tell. I have years of tree trimming ahead(77 acres of oaks,cedars, mesquite and huisatche) so I'll probably wear these out. If I do in the near future, I'll post something.
Kyle ....

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matt4200jd
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4 Indiana
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2002-11-06          44688


My dad has two Alpina saws. I believe the model is 0-36. They have 18 inch bars and are probably about 15 or 20 years old. They are made in Italy and are awsome saws. They are yellow. Unfortunately, I don't believe they're made any more. I would say they would keep right up with a comparable Stihl or anything of comparable displacement from what I've seen of other brands. They are heavy and don't have any safety features for kickback or anti-vibration features. I have a feeling there wasn't much safety or anti-vibration features when these were made though.

Just thought I'd throw that in here! ....

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pdavepennell
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18 Michigan
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2002-11-07          44701


There is only one saw to own STIHL !!! ....

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jeff r
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 428 burton. michigan
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2002-11-07          44726


I have a little used 15 year old 16 inch Stihl which was bought as new while paying big bucks (350) and have had nothing but trouble with it even with meticulous maintenance. I recently bought a 16 inch MAC at Walmart for less than half of what I paid 15 years ago for the Stihl. The Mac works like a charm for a very reasonable price. ....

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Hal DeWitt
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 22 New Brunswick, Canada
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2002-11-08          44763


Jonsered makes the best saw. No question. I use a 2149 for all my work from cutting bushes through hardwood logs. Works like a charm. The thing about a chain saw is that if you want the saw to do the work get a good one. If you want to do the work any old saw will do. Keep it sharp. Use a filing guide on the cutters and a depth gauge on the riders. The 2149 is a pro saw but you can get the same performance from a 2150. Same engine but different temprament (case, housing, tanks are different material) designed more for occassional use and quite a bit less expensive. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-11-08          44767


I agree that a good saw make a difference. Jonsered is part of the Electrolux group, like Huskies.
Keeping a file sharp is critial to not over working your self or the saw. I am afraid that I have never had a file guide. You were working falling I never had time to use a guide. I normally use just the Husky file handle as the guide. Controlling the raker depth is key to having a correct cut.
The only time I wish I had a guide or power set is when I badly rock a chain. It is often difficult to correct the mistake.
I normally use most of a chain, there is very little remaining after I am finished. Cutting hard wood takes a lot of filing. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-11-09          44778


I've got one of those jig type guides. My Husky chain is cut at both an angle and a tilt and I find trying to hand file with reasonable accuracy in two dimensions goes beyond what I can do. The jig works pretty well. I think I have two raker gauges and they're pretty standard things. This sharpening setup works well for me. I don't have any experience with electric grinders so I don't know if they're an improvement of not. I like to keep a sharp saw as well.

I don't use the saw extensively, but I might if electricity rates keep exploding. I noticed that there are a bunch of different type chains available. I suspect that a low-kickback type might be good for me since I don't have to worry about making big piles of fire wood--at least not yet.
....

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Misenplace
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-05-26          55642


I have always used Stihl saws. Currently I primarily use a 026 pro which is a very popular saw. Light and powerfull. The huskys also have a huge following and I have considered a 357. The best advice on a saw is get one that is comfortable to you, but I personally would stick with one of theese two brands. Up north where my property is Stihl is ptetty much the only brand. So If I drop something in the dirt or a need a part they are available at a local hardware store. ....

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homedad5acre
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-05-28          55773


I have two craftsman's they were freebees and I still feel cheated. parts, chains, parts, chains, on and on and on.
Anyone ever hear of huskavarna? Know anything about them? ....

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Misenplace
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2003-05-28          55782


Homedad, I have never owned a husky but from all of the Stihl Vs. Husky banter I have seen on other sites They seem to have a dedicated following. Its a bit like endless debate of orange Vs. green, only in this case they are bith nearly the same color so no one argues about paint, lol. I think bith are the top dogs in the chains saw world but that certyainly does not mean there the only good ones. Popularity really seems based on market saturation. In greater Detroit I think Lowes sells Husqvarna but it's tough to find a parts/service dealer here, at least compared to Stihl which is immmensly popular throughout the state. ....

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homedad5acre
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2003-05-28          55838


You learn something new every day if your lucky. I did't know husky was a referance to husqvarna. Thought that was that bike company. I never heard of husqvarna until I walked into the local cub cadet dealer on my tractor search. I burned about 10 cord this winter and a new chain saw and log splitter our on my wish list. I don't know where you all live, but here in pa it seems like it's been winter for 2 years. ....

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WillieH
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2003-05-29          55846


homedad5acre -

I have a Stihl...an "028AV Super" with an 18 in bar. I bought this unit back in 1984, as I was building CNC Turret Lathes that did all the machining for the Stihl crankshaft and peripherals. I new then what quality went into Stihls product lines, and I certainly would not hesitate to purchase another...if I ever have to!

To date, 19 years running to cut 7-8cords a year plus odd jobs, still on the same plug, points and breather! (Hah,hah...I did have to change the chain a few times though)

Willie H. ....

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Pacesetter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 178 Maine
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2003-05-29          55848


Poulan makes a good saw for the occasional user. I carried one around for years in my old Bronco for camping an clearing trails. They make them for Sears, so same saw, different color. Now that I have the farm, I have an Echo 3450. Found it used, but like new, for a super price and bought it. I liked it so much I have an Echo 510 on the way that I bought on eBay. I have less than $350 in two saws that will do what I want and not give any problems. If the 510 won't cut it, I don't want to cut it:-) Absolutely nothing wrong with a Stihl or Husky, I just find these suit my needs for a more attractive price. Regarding the price of parts, I have found the following link a great place to buy supplies.
Pacesetter ....


Link:   Chainsaw supplies

 
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Misenplace
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 875 Michigan
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2003-05-29          55856


Home Dad, Yup I was a little lost on that one reading post on other web sites for quite a while. Try takeing a peek at the husqvarna web site and by the way I have absolutely NO idea weather or not I am spelling that right. lol. It is especially easy to confuse due to there actually being a HUSKY brand of tools that the Tractor Supply Company and I think Home Depot carry although to my knowledge they do not like make chain saws. I also like the Echo brand but for reasons already mentioned I personally stayed away from them on a chain saw. If I was just cutting at home close to the city they probably would have been my first choice. It is my understanding that Echo uses chrome plated Pistons, rings and cylinders and Stihl only does on their Pro lines which is one of the reasons I chose the 026 pro over the 026. I also like the decompression valve for easier starting. I have a echo weed whipper that is 8 years old and runs like a top. I wish I could count the hours on that one ! I only switched to Stihl weed whippers becuase of the quick change shat that allows me to use the same power head and change to a edger. ....

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JAZAK5
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-05-29          55864


I liked my jonsered 0930 but it started to give me problems after 15 yrs and parts are getting scarce. I looked at the new ones and they were not as built as my 0930. Looked at them all,using a 20inch bar and sometimes needing a 36 inch bar settled for a stihl 046 mag, very happy, nice features and far as a 72 cc saw replacing a 93cc the stihl cuts just as well with more torque vs rpm in the jonsered.At half the weight. ....

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Misenplace
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2003-05-29          55887


ohh yaa, MORE POWER !! ....

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-05-30          56025


I have a Sears electric and I tend to use a hand powered bow saw before I use the electric saw. I am no longer a fan of Sears power tools and not just because of this particular saw. (Their wrenches are OK though)

I have another chainsaw that I inherited from my dad. It is a cheap Homelite, but it works for light stuff. I wouldn't recommend it for heavy work at all. I live in the desert, so there is not a lot of tree cutting here, but we do have some trees and they tend to be pretty dense wood. It starts when I pull the cord and makes sawdust, and that is about all I need.

I like Poulan and Husky personally and would buy one of those brands if I needed a saw for heavier work.
....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2003-10-19          66579


Well, last month this thread took on a new importance when an elderly relative needed a hand with a tree problem that made my poor old Mac 610 look pretty puny.

So without further ado, my new chainsaw and my latest (oh my aching back) project are at #12 in my pics. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
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2003-10-19          66586


It looks like you had your hands full with that big boy Mark. I still feel uncomfortable falling trees and I don't cut anything near as big as that. 12" is big on our property. I'm happy with my Husky 136, and since it was a gift the price was right. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2003-10-19          66589


Seem sized for the job, but not sure I want to lug it around all day any more. Not much good for cutting sage brush. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-10-19          66599


Is that the O-66 or MS660 with a 36" bar Mark? Definitely a beefy chain bar! A long bar does make cutting big stuff like that alot easier. Just have to watch sticking the chain in the dirt. Where did you get those monsters you are cutting up? Where they already felled or did you drop them? I can definitely identify with the aching back! ;-) Nice saw. I like that the new models come with the compression release which makes starting so much easier. If you haven't already, get the Stihl hard hat with the ear muffs and fold down protection screen. The big bill on the hard hat is designed to obsorb a kick back from the saw. They are good safety insurance especially with that long bar. Mine has saved me once. Plus the ear muffs really cut down on the noise. Have fun with your new toy! ;-) ....

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JAZAK5
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2003-10-19          66600


I did that once and and that as the reason my 'ol 0930 super started to give me problems,I used a 3 pt vertical log spliter and backed into the logs to split them !!!! ....

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getrdun
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15 Central Missouri
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2003-10-19          66603


I think you will find every one has there own preference as saws go. As do I, if your going to use it once a year or once every two years it really doesn't matter. But if you want a saw you can always count on starting an running when you need it (not when you get it back from the saw shop) spend the extra buy the STHL. I've had 5 STHLS 3 of which have cut over 300 cord an never required more than regular maintance. If your not cutting any thing large the 26 model is very good all round saw for power to weight. Good luck on what ever you by. But if I ever need a pacemaker I hope STHL makes one:] ....

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powellvalley
Join Date: Sep 2003
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2003-10-19          66610


OK - Very good points made so far on the topic. One more for thought - I like to have 2 saws when I'm in the woods...(ever locked one up in a tree???) LOLL I worked in the log woods for a bit - ran Stihl, Jonsred, Echo, Makita (& a yellow electric at home for light stuff). My 80cc Echo is a great cutter, the Stihl was the crew's favorite, the Makita did ok, but my personal favorite was the Jonsred - it was the most dependable. Easy to start & no downtime. Echo is good, but touchy/finicky (carb). Good saws seem to run forever if you keep a sharp chain, straight bar, & good oil. And, as with most machines, dependable timely service should be a consideration. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2003-10-20          66621


I wonder how Husky quality is standing up after the Poulan takeover? I have a pre-takeover 257 that I like OK for the light cutting I do. I think Husky had already created pro and consumer lines by the 257's time and the 257 is a consumer saw. But I like the saw just fine and hope the new company doesn't put their saws into box stores along with typical box store quality. At least there are still Husky dealers around. What's an optimist? A trombone player with a pager or a new Mac dealer. ....

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Art White
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2003-10-20          66622


All huskys with an XP are commercial saws, all without are consumers or as Husky calls them (semi-pro) saws. We sell both Husky and Stihl but my preference goes for Stihl, less Warrantee work about 1/2, and just good life. Husky has more perspective customers coming thru the door due to it's advertising dollars spent. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2003-10-20          66627


Thanks Art! Good to know the distinction and the service records. I seem to recall that Stihl had its own takeover and also has a consumer line although I don't know its reputation. But my key is that I'm much happier when I stick to things that have dealers. Products without dealers always seems to make bargain prices expensive.

Suppose I should switch to 'just for fun' but you know those Husk's are high reving. A very eccentric idea of forming a chain saw choir has popped into my head the passed several winters. Such a thing would work sort of like bell ringers with logs. Those Husky's could be useful for tuning the high notes. Well, the choir idea usually occurs to me in February. I suppose I'm just getting bushy early this year. I did hear a rare CBC recording of a 100-piece harmonica band playing the theme from 2001 and I was astounded. Maybe I'm just given to bushiness. Sounded like the harmonica band was having fun though. If you ever see a billing for a touring chain saw choir just remember that you heard it here first. Us bush lunatics may like to go south some February. ....

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DRankin
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2003-10-20          66629


Peters, about the worst thing you can do to any type of saw or chipper is to run sage brush through it.

Chief, Yes it is a MS 660 with a 36 inch bar and I already got the durn thing in the dirt once!

The tree is estimated at 150 years.... it was probably here the first time Kit Carson walked through ..... and it was about 120 feet tall. Last month a limb with a 40 inch cross section came down and crushed two storage sheds and took out power and phones to the whole neighborhood.

Once it was discovered how unstable the thing really was, my wifes auntie hired a tree guy to take the whole tree down. The process took several days and it came down in pieces such as the ones you see in the picture.

I am cutting the rounds into sizes I can pick up and haul off. It looks like I am going to get about 10 cords of wood out of that tree and there is still 20 feet of it standing that they cannot cut.

I have had zero problems with the way the saw handles.... no kickback at all but your suggestion about the hardhat is a good one and I will look into it today. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
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2003-10-20          66630


Mark, I bet that just makes your day when that happens! I have a 24" bar on my O-66 and it takes 15 -20 to sharpen the teeth after they get dulled. All it takes is a fraction of a second and then you are just waisting time and clutch trying to cut with a dull chain. They are fantastic saws. I bought mine after a freak ice storm we had back in 1993. It is bit on the heavy side but that baby can cut! I keep a spare chain and sharpen about every other tank of gas. I bought a set of the safety chaps to wear over my pants but those things are too hot to wear during the summer. If I cut alone, I wear them and keep the cell phone close. I would love to have been able to watch taking that tree down. Very interesting but dangerous work. I have taken some big oak trees down but nothing even resembling that monster! It is a fine science and if you screw it up can have some very expensive or fatal results. My neighbor lost an O-64 chainsaw when it became pinched and the tree fell back on it. I am always concerned about the tree "barber chairing". I try to cut a big notch and cut through to fell the tree the direction it is leaning or inclined to go down. I prefer hooking up a 100' 5/8" steel cable about 30' up the tree and pulling it down with the dozer. That ain't gonna happen with the monster you are cutting up. What was it? An old lodge pole pine? Have fun and be safe. ....

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DRankin
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2003-10-20          66632


I forgot to mention that part.... it is a cottonwood tree.

There are several more just like it in the neighborhood, all are clustered near a natural spring. ....

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DRankin
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2003-10-20          66633


On the subject of sharpening..... I got a small clamp-on-the-bar grinder from Northern Tool. It has a 12 volt motor and clips onto the truck battery for power.

It is quick to use once it is set up and my old chainsaw has never been so sharp. ....

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Chief
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2003-10-20          66634


I have the Stihl clamp on sharpener but it takes so long to adjust that I have found that I can do just as well and much faster using a hand file with the file guide. The guy I cut with has an electric sharpener in his shop that does a nice job but you have to remove the chain from the saw. ....

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Art White
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2003-10-20          66655


Tom, Stihl is still owned by the Stihl family to the best of my knowledge. I thought that Husky is still owned by electrolux? At best, most models run within a thousand rpm difference. ....

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Peters
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2003-10-20          66661


Mark,
I have a smaller 51 Husky and the larger 257 like Tom. I would not use that big of bar unless I had a tree 2 another 2 feet across. The last one I took down near that size was an old oak snag I had on the top of the hill in KY.
You need to have your plastic wedges handy when cutting big stuff. Save a lot of possible pinching.
Chief,
I always used the falling pants as it is easier to drop them off and cool down. I anly used the chaps once or twice but hated them. It needed to be -20 to keep cool. I wear my shorts underneith and just release the suspenders. My current pair I found in KY and the Husky ones. They are polyester and are hotter than the cotton ones I normally bought when falling. Does any one know where you can get the cotton denium ones? Ken?
Peters ....

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DRankin
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2003-10-20          66663


Yup. Those rounds in the picture are from the branches. We haven't gotten into the trunk yet. ....

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kwschumm
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2003-10-20          66665


Nope, I'm not sure where to get those. I always wear blue jeans and the chaps. I hate the chaps but I expect I'd hate a chainsaw accident more! ....

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Peters
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2003-10-20          66679


Ken;
The denim pants were sold in the logging supply on the west coast. I have not found them in the east. They are much cooler than the polyester and for my mind the best choice. I am not sure that I would wear the chaps, but I guess they are as safe, if you don't fall over from the heat.
Even the pants I have are a bit much in 100 F weather.
Peters ....

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kwschumm
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2003-10-20          66685


I solve the heat problem by not cutting much in the spring or summer :) I cut in late fall or winter. A lot cooler that way and no sticky sap to deal with, but the chaps are still plenty warm until the temp drops into the 30's. ....

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wigglybridge
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2003-10-20          66694


Getting in a little late on this one...

I have a Stihl 026Pro, as already mentioned, great weight to power ratio. I tried the next size down first, the 25, and it was a toy in comparison, fortunately the dealer let me return it and take the 026Pro.

I also have a Poulan which originally came with a 16" bar. Poulan is real junk, and they love to put bars that are waaaay too long for the engine on to impress box store buyers (which I was at the time). They use what's called "skip chain" with less cutters on them so they don't bog down. After I wore out the first bar, my dealer was kind enough to set it up with a better 14" bar and good chain, and it's much better now. I will say that it's still running after 4 years and a lot of cutting.

But I now use the Stihl most of the time, just use the Poulan for light work or to bail me out if I pinch the Stihl. Poulan and Mac and the rest are BAD for your health long term -- poor shock absorption, sorry, but I'm also a musician, can't afford numb fingers for the rest of my life. The Stihl also uses less than half as much bar oil, so it's cheaper to run and better environmentally.

Many of my neighbors are loggers, and around here, Stihl vs. Husky is just like Ford vs. Chevy or as someone already said, orange vs. green. ....

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TomG
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2003-10-21          66707


Good to clean up my chainsaw info. Don't know about Stihl ownership. I'd heard they were producing a consumer line that isn't as good as the familiar pro models and just assumed a buyout since it's a very common pattern. I think I straightened out the Husky ownership thing. I knew Electrolux bought Husky some years back. I think what happened is that Poulan bought Electolux recently. I sure hope corporate stays out of the chains saw design buz. Somebody came into the Hotel awhile back and said somebody lost his Poulan out of his 1/2-ton bed. 'Maybe a kindness' I said.

Music and numb fingers went together for me. Despite decades of guitar playing almost all the money I made from it was playing congas for singer/writers. Real good time since the songs were good enough that we didn't have to play covers. My sound/lighting buz almost made money but neither work with a day job very well. Conga players do have to learn to take care of the hands and wrists like chainsaw users and sound guys have to take care of their ears--fingers too for some saws.
....

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tctx
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2003-10-21          66757


I've got a Stihl 250C... light... powerful... and balanced... I've had several others... but found this one and the backup in service to be nothing but the best....

tc
....

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jeff r
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2003-10-21          66759


I bought a Homelite TimberMan 18" for 179.99 at Home Depot after 12 years of nothing but problems with a Stihl. The Homelite has a 45cc engine and a narrow kerf .325 pitch chain. I figure I put nearly 200 bucks in repairs over 10 years with another 100 3 months ago in the Stihl with about 20 hours of use. Now the Stihl won't run at an angle even with a new carberator because the repair guy said that they had problems with too hard of piston rings than the cylinder walls that accelerated wear and causes low compression. The saw sits in my garage ready for the junk man because I refuse to put another penny into that mechanical money sucking leach. This Homelite saw puts my problematic 350 dollar Stihl to shame. I improved performance greatly with a semi-chisel extra chain over the standard chain that come with the saw. I considered a Husky at Lowes but with a bigger engine I was looking at 150 bucks more. I also have a 2 year old nice 16" Mac with a 35cc engine I use for delimbing but once you get used to a 45cc its tough to grab the Mac. The Timberman is balanced well and no numbness in hands after you use it and I don't use a chainsaw more than 2 hours at at time since I need a break from that kind of manual labor. Both saws use about 1 tank of bar oil to 2 tanks of gas which is very reasonable. ....

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Jim on Timberridge
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2003-10-30          67598


Have owned a Stihl 028Super, 034, 026Pro, and 046Magnum. No experience with other makes, but some comments from loggers indicate the Huscavarna's are equivalent. Best overall runner was the 028.
According to my dealer, Stihl's model lineup was divided by the number: even model# (026, 036, etc) are pro versions with heavier duty housing, mechanicals, etc. The odd model#'s are lighter duty (Farm Boss,etc). But Stihl's new numbering system blurrs that line-up, unfortunately. Any good dealer will get you to the right saw -- the pro's are worth the extra money.
jim ....

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DRankin
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2003-11-18          69005


Well... it has taken a month but I finally got that big sucker moved.

Moving wood by the pick-up load got too tedious, so yesterday I rented a 5 yard dump truck and put the tractor to work. In order to load a 71 inch tall truck with a 72 inch tall loader I had to park the truck at the curb which dropped it 5 inches and drive the tractor up a small ramp.

With that system I was able to move the last 5 cords in about 6 hours, including about 60 miles of driving.

Bottom line: That single tree produced between 15 and 16 cords of firewood. The Stihl saw worked well and I needed every inch of that 36 inch bar on several occasions. I learned a whole lot about field maintenance and operation of a chain saw and ruined or wore out at least 4 chains.

Thanks for all the help and advice guys...... now the splitting begins. ....

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Chief
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2003-11-18          69006


You should be able to sell about 10 cords of that and make a nice tidy little sum! Don't throw the chains away. You should be able to sharpen them with a file. I have gone through 3 chains on my Stihl O-66 in about 10 years. I usually get about 15 cords per chain. But I have a 24" bar which is much less prone to dinging the chain. It is tough with that 36" bar. I have only had to discard one chain before being just plain worn out when is broke a drive link. Have fun splitting! ;-) I still have about 3 cords left still waiting for me. ....

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DRankin
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2003-11-18          69007


Actually I bent a couple of the chains when they jumped the track. I might be able to straighten them or cut the bent sections out for use on a shorter bar.

I learned that when you put a new chain on a bar that long it stretches and stretches and stretches ..... a lot! If you are not checking it every couple of minutes in the first 1/2 hour of operations it will jump off and bite you.

BTW Cheif.... I followed your advice on the chaps and helmet and all I got was a slap on the leg when those chains came loose. Thanks. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-11-18          69008


Actually Mark, if there are any decent-sized saw shops near you they can eailt spin the rivets out of your blade and insert new links, you will just end up with a chain that has more than one master link.

Best of luck. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2003-11-18          69009


Thanks Murf. I will try that. Those chains run a buck per bar-inch and are worth saving. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2003-11-18          69010


Mark, VERY glad to hear you got the safety stuff and it worked for you. The chaps can be a pain in the butt sometimes especially when it is hot outside. The helmet is probably the best safety dollar spent as kick back will happen to everyone sooner or later. Better to have a groove cut in the bill of your helmet instead of your forehead. I would suggest a 24" bar and chain for later on use. You will GREATLY appreciate it when it comes time to sharpen the chain. ;-) You'll have to show us some pics or your wood pile and chiropractor's bill after you split it all. ;-) ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-11-18          69012


I guess I never saw the use of the helment unless you are falling or it is raining. If the long bar saw kicks back at high RPM it will certainly knock it off your head or cut through it.
One of the reasons that we only worked 6 hour days falling the big stuff was that you need to have a tight grip on saw and be ever aware that it can kick at any moment.
Glad to here that the chaps worked and saved injury. After years working in the woods using my falling pants and never touching them. I cut the Husky pair cutting fire wood. I set the saw on my knee to rest and it had not stopped moving.
In some ways the smaller saws are more dangerous as people tend to use them like electric knives with one hand. Two hands and tight grip is always needed on a saw.
I tend to use chains down to their last and keep the saw sharp at all times. I file every tank when cutting hard wood. I file both cutters and rakers so their is little left of the chain when finished.
About 12-15 cord per chain is right although a little difficult to estimate as I run 2 saws and use one for limbing and the other falling and bucking. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-11-18          69018


I never had much use for hard hats either till site rules demanded FULL protection.

After ten minutes of use I realized they're REALLY handy, but not from a nock on the noodle point-of-view, they keep the chips out of your hair and from going down your neck, they hold the screen face mask, and when you mount the hearing protectors to them they can be easily flipped off without losing them.

As for the chainsaw itself, I've got the best ones available now, they come with young men with strong backs to use them for me, the splitter and chipper are now so 'equipped' too. Great option.

Best of luck.


....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2003-11-18          69067


Murf, I hear ya...

I have a sixteen year old who came by looking for work so I hired him to hump the firewood I was cutting.

He has to take a run at it to fling it in the truck, but I bet he doesn't need any aspirin when he gets home. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-11-19          69078


Oh yes I remember chips down the neck real well before I got the helmet. The ear mufs help hold it on my head as well but who knows, I might turn into VanGogh if I ever get a serious kickback. I've also yet to have a serious dead limb fall on me while felling but of course that's the reason for hard hats.

The face shield also was very good on fire crew for sticking my whole head into the bottoms of spruce trees so I could grub and use a backpack pump close to the trunks. I was doing so well I suppose that's why I got stuck with grubbing all day. I bought a new style hat for fire crew use last summer and I like it much better than my chain saw hat of the township issued fire hats. It stays in place. Wish I'd have paid for face shield and earmuff mounts but I guess they could be added.

A friend's son started working for a logger this summer. He gashed his ankle a bit. I don't know if was a boot or chaps that stopped most of it. The main problem was cleaning out the gash because the chain took a bunch of chap or boot into the gash. Since he was working for a commercial logger he likely was wearing safety equipment and still got gashed.
....

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DRankin
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2003-11-19          69089


I didn't think the helmet was necessary for what I was doing per se, but it is a great platform for the ear muffs and the face shield.

I got sprayed several times with high speed bark chips and it was nice not to run the risk of losing control of the saw for reasons such as that. ....

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wigglybridge
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 82 Vermont
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2003-11-19          69122


Another reason I actually love my helmet/screen/muffs and chaps is that I can go charging through pretty nasty brush with complete impunity. Sometimes causes me a setback when I don't have the stuff on and forget that, though!

As mentioned, the main reason for the helmet is stuff falling on you. After 4 years here, I'm still cleaning up throws from a tornado that came through just before we moved in, and that helmet has saved me some end-of-story knocks in the midst of the messes... ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2003-11-19          69124


Another good reason for grubbing out brush from the cab of a diesel-powered 'chainsaw' .... ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-11-20          69161


Around here 'widow makers' are dead limbs up high on mostly white pine. Bump a tree with equipment and down they come. That's why skidders have steel cages, but I'd not saying anything new.

In my fire story, the real grubbing was done by a dozer (without a cage). The only trouble was that the operator ran the fire line outside where we parked our trucks and then continued around one side of the fire. Sparks jumped a meadow and caught needles underneath a stand of small trees near the parking area. Oh man about a half dozen of us were grubbing and backpack pumping for all we were worth until the water bomber showed up and another hose line was run. Half the people there were on the other side of the fire and probably had their truck keys in their pockets. I didn't think of that at the time but I'm going to bring it up next fire meeting--leave keys in the ignition when at a fire scene.

Good thing the tornado went through before you moved in. Helmets are better when cleaning up than when experiencing one. There's still a bunch of throw near here where something called a lateral burst went through about five years ago. A lateral burst is a 'straight tornado.' Somebody must have given it coffee. ....

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