Which chainsaw?

I'm thinking about getting a gas-powered chainsaw, perhaps 16" or less, and wondered model/brands folks like best or worked well. I'm considered Stihl and Husqvarna. Any other quality brands? I have about 150 trees, probably an occasional use of the chainsaw. TIA
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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 03:59:14 +0000, Phisherman wrote:

For the price range that your looking at ($225.00 or so) I personally like the echo cs 305. I really like the weight of it (it quite light) and it's powerful enough to do what you ask of it. Really though, either of those saws, Stihls and husqvarna will do very well for you. I'd recommend that you look at each of these saws, hold them, start them and the like and see which one your most comfortable with. That's the most important aspect imho.
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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 03:59:14 +0000, Phisherman wrote:

No matter which saw you buy you can buy bars of different lengths if you find you need a different length bar. If you go to a saw shop, they will match up the bar length you want on any of their saws. My saw has two bars, a standard bar and a brush bar. The brush bar is designed for cutting at the end.
The saws that are the best balanced are the Stihl 025 C, Echo CS-4400, Jonsered 2040, and Stihl 021. This is important if you are doing a lot of cutting.
The fastest cutting are the Stihl 025C & Stihl Super Farm Boss 029, and Husqvarna 345 & 350. They also have the greatest kickback. They are probably the ones to avoid.
The best handling are the Stihl 025C and 021, Echo CS-4400, and Jonsered 2040. This is a combination of good balance and low weight.
The easiest to service is the Stihl 018C.
The best buys are the Craftsman Red Chassis 35038 and Craftsman Gray Chassis 35046. They are the least expensive and the safest with the least kickback but still good cutting speed.
Another good buy is the Stihl 018C, but it has a little more kickback then the Craftsman saws.
These are all good saws and you won't go wrong with any of them.
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wrote: And what do you have to support your statements......

Been dealin g iwith chainsaws all my life and this is a new one on me. Are you perhaps talking about a bow type bar........

I have a hard time buying this

Why do they have more kickback than any other saw........engine / chain speed........they all use asymetrical bars and anti kick back chain, use a saw properly and its not a problem.

Still what do you base this advice on......Ehco is pityfull when it comes to getting repair parts and their eco carbs are poor in design and dependability. Theya re about the only manuf that has yet to figure out how to make a decent or even half assed fixed jet carb......Stihl 025 models run at much higher rpms, wear much fsater and is a hyped up piece of junk copared to a Husky of equal engine size..........

Also pretty pricey in regards to parts and such

Just buy the Green ones made by Poulan, its the same saw at a lesser price and carries the same warranty, and the same identical piece of junk

As concerned about kickback as you are with these saws I think you would be well advised to stay away from ANY chainsaw.

And I assume you have one of each so you can make these comparisons, as all are consumer grade saws, not a saw a professional would choose for daily use by any means.
Go to a local dealer be it Stihl, Husky, or even Poulan.See what fits you the best, how the dealer treats you, his shop and service area ask for a demo / test........see about references with satisfied customers....tell him exactly what yur use is going to be...........its the dealer that will make or break you not the saw........Odds are you will not go wrong with most Stihls, Husky or Jonsered. They all kick back and there is no such thing as a safer or lesser kick back as comared to another, there is reduced kickback but its still kickback. Learn to use a saw properly and always treat it as a potential for kickback without any regards to what safety implemntations may or may not be on it. No one saw is safer than another, and usually the main reason some of the smaller saws cut quicker is higher chain and engine speeds, as they are gutless at lower rpms........Big saws better designed engines do not have to necessarily run at these h igh speeds to cut fast........are you in production or running a race in regards to how fast a saw can cut.They all cut with a sharp chain and proper use and care.........and the difference in what one and the other can cut is so minimal its not an issue.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Koi-ichi) wrote:

They are called brush bars. Bow bars are similar. Mine is made by Homelite. They were more popular in the west. I used them when I was working for the Forest Service in the Cascade Mountains and decided I wanted one for myself. The local dealer here in PA had no trouble getting one for me. They are longer than a bow bar and designed to cut brush off at the base. You can cut things off at ground level. You can also cut small trees down with the tip of a brush bar. They have an anti-kickback bar on the tip. They are especially useful when cutting brush and smaller diameter trees off close to the ground.

For the same reason they cut faster. They have a more aggressive design. Other saws cut almost as fast and are safer to use. Kick back is more of a problem with a longer bar. Most of todays saws just have short bars. I personally grew up around chain saws, but todays purchases are usually made by homeowners who have never used one and have received no training on how to use one properly. I would never recommend they use anything but the safest available that does a good job. We have chain saw shops that provide lessons, but places like Home Depot and Lowes just hand you a box and you are on your own.
Talking about using chain saws for a long time. One of the first chain saws I used was a two man Mercury saw. The man on the tip of the bar was the oiler and controlled the cutting end of the saw. The operator had a two handed handle bar and controlled the 2-cylinder 4-cycle engine. The Mercury saws used engines similar to Mercury outboard motors. They were heavy but could cut down a 12' diameter Douglas Fir. They had an awful lot of teeth to sharpen. We usually left a chain in our maintenance shop and took a sharpened chain out each day.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

Hi Stephen & All - Good information on safe use of these potent tools - and what interesting experiences you must have had 'splinter pickin' (i.e. timber falling) with that "Mercury" two-man saw! Oh! - to be able to cut through a 12 foot thick log' - amazing!!! Have a good day! - Wes/MO
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I have an Echo and it starts and works every time I need it. I've also used Stihl products and they are very good, too. I have been told by repairmen to avoid Poulan. My last saw was a Poulan, and I always had trouble with it until it burned out with less than 100 hours........

considered
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Phisherman wrote:

Hi Tia -     I've used a variety of chainsaws here on my farm for many years. Either brand of chainsaw you mention would be fine I'd say.     I have had experience with both - I must say I prefer Husqvarna for the larger size saw but Stihl is also very good. Be VERY careful with your gasoline/oil mix and beware of loose handling and kickbacks - do not operate while too near to anyone else - i.e. read all the provided chainsaw safety instructions and ALWAYS pay them their due with serious attention. Make 'safety' a ritual part of all your chainsaw use - and you'll do just fine!! - Wes/MO
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I resurrected a Stihl chainsaw bought in 1968, A 20 inch one. Bought a new chain, vacuum hose and cleaned it up and voila. One pull and I'm there. This saw was a work horse for me for several years and I didn't need it for a long time. I bought a light weight 16" Craftsman much later but it didn't hold a candle to the Stihl so it was reborn and is chewing hell out of those logs, brush and anything else. Only problem is that it's a little heavy now but that's the way it was when I bought it. It does get the job done quicker though.
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I have a stihl 025 but i haded a 20 inch bar. I love it and used it for about 10yrs now. I never had any problems with it. What i like the most about it is the RBM's are so high. And it is so easy to handle. Stihl is also rated the best by the consumer reports also. Hope i could help you!!

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I'm no expert but my Poulan Wildthing turned out to be a POS. Oil pump broke after about 6 hours and it took a month to get fixed under warranty. Frank
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I have a Stihl 025 and I like it.
Whatever you get, spring for the chaps and helmet also. It's worth the investment. Much cheaper than a single visit to the emergency room.
Stop the saw while you're moving around. Don't start it until you have a solid footing (and an escape route in case you're felling a tree and it falls the wrong way). I was carrying a running (idling) saw once. I tripped (it's always rough ground when you're cutting wood) and my hand jammed into the ground and set the throttle on full, with my face about 6" from the bar. I had set the chain lock, so that helped, but I always stop the saw whenever I move around now. The mesh faceplate will stop chips (but not all of them -- wear safety glasses also) but won't stop the chain.
Phisherman wrote:

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dps wrote:

Hi dps & All - Excellent safety advice! Thanx! - Wes/MO
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I have experience of Jonsered, an over 20 year old saw that so far has never failed. Have had to replace spark plugs, filters, chain, blade and stuff of course, but that's routine maintenance. I also have some experience with newer Jonsered saws, which are much lighter, but also seems a bit less robust. But, hey, that's evolution. When it comes to Jonsered, they are these days very similar to Husqvarna, but I like the design and "feel" of the Jonsered better. And it has a kinder sound... Maybe I'm silly, I don't know :) But if you are to spend a lot of time with a saw, you better like the sound actually...not all saws sound alike. Jonsered, last time I checked, allowed you to try the saw all you wanted for a week, and then return it if you didn't like it.
For 150 trees any Stihl or Husqvarna/Jonsered would be an excellent choice, at least if you go with some of their stronger engines. Modern engines seem to have more rpms but they need the horsepower just as bad as before, if not more actually. Try to chose a local dealer. Both Stihl and Husqvarna/Jonsered have good service when it comes to spare parts, parts for a 1970s Jonsered is expensive and quite hard to find though. But that can be expected I reckon. It's easier to buy a used saw and have that for parts.
Here's a little I wrote for another thread, which talked about chainsaws, but I never got around to post it. I'll include it anyway, even though it is a bit too long :)
Firefox closed a window for no reason so I have to repost. Sigh.
I've used Jonsered for a long time, I liked the design and "feeling" of their products. Jonsered was merged into Husqvarna as Electrolux bought them both in 1978-79 (Husqvarna first), I guess it was the natural thing to do, Jonsered and Huskvarna are less than 100 miles apart, and in a globalised economy it's important to keep volumes up. Jonsered says they still have some separate factories and R&D. Jonsereds original chainsaw-factory was closed in 1989. Their chainsaws don't seem identical to Husqvarnas, although I reckon they are made in the same factory these days and maybe they have the same engines. Electrolux also bought Partner in 1978.
Since then, Electrolux has also bought Poulan in 1989 and 1997, in a number of mergers. Including Weed Eater and American Yard Products (which I suspect is manufacturing Jonsereds garden tractors, but I can't bet on it).
So, all in all, a number of producers owned by the same company, Electrolux.
Production facilities seem to be somewhat separate though, they haven't moved it all into a huge factory in Asia. And Electrolux has claimed they are really into brand managing, and will try to use the strengths of the various brands in different markets.
Brief (even briefer now, after FF crash) history:
Husqvarna started making weapons in the 1600s, and has since then made just about everything when it comes to tools or machines. Washing machines, motor cycles, sewing machines, you name it. Now a part of Electrolux, they have a wider range of products in many fields.
Jonsered started making tools for forest industry in the 1800s and became one of the leaders in light (as in one-man) chainsaws in the 1950s. Now a part of Electrolux, Jonsered focuses on tools and machines for forests and gardens. They still make other things though, such as
Poulan still makes chainsaws in Arkansas, in the "biggest chainsaw factory" in the world. Poulan in 1944 invented the "bow guide" which (from what I can understand) made using these old chainsaws more efficient, now most of the time 2 men were needed instead of 3(!). Poulan was merged into Weed Eater.
Electrolux starts in early 1900s by selling advanced kerosene lamps for lighthouses. Before the war (WW1) they also goes into vacuum cleaners and in the early 1920s starts selling refrigerators. After that they've expanded into everything driven by electricity, and most things driven by gasoline as well. Not cars or aeroplanes to my knowledge though.
As for what chainsaw to buy, buy one that "feels" right, and one which have local dealers.
These "megacorporations" such as Electrolux (or GE, Ford, or whatever) removes some of the "soul" from the brands they buy...at least that's my feeling. But as long as there are connections to the past the producers and designers seem to be able to make good products. Bahco was recently bought by Snap-On, but Bahco still seems to be made in the same factories, with the same quality. That might change in the future though. I'm not saying Snap-On is lower quality than Bahco, just different...
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