Is it entirely me, or does the cheap chainsaw share the blame?

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I have never had much luck with chainsaws, but then I have always bought junk.
Currently I have a Craftsman 16" 36cc. http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
Although I haven't used it much, it barely cuts and when I push it the blade just stops. Getting through anything more than a branch is an ordeal; but I see professionals going through 3' logs like butter. I concede my technique is largely responsible, I wonder if it is entirely responsible.
There is an "new" Echo 440CS available locally for a very low price. http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&productId0007327&langId=-1&catalogId053&PIDP0871&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&cpncode    -35000909-2&URL=http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BuildLinkToHomeDepot?linktype=product&id0007327&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&AID368321&cj=true&srccode=cii_9324560
Since the normal price is more than twice that of the saw I have, I have to think it is somehow better. Will the Echo do better for me than the Craftsman; or would I be just as unhappy with it?
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Toller wrote:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
Quality chain well sharpened is probably 90% of the problem...
--
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Toller wrote:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sea rs&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
When was the last time the chain was sharpened? Depth gauges the right height? Have you the proper tension on the chain (not too tight)? Checked the drive gear and bar?
--

dadiOH
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It has never been sharpened; it hasn't been used very much and didn't cut well out of the box. What is a depth gauge?
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Toller wrote:

You *do* have the chain going the right way, correct? _________________

http://www.oregonchain.com/faq.htm
--

dadiOH
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I just gotta ask: Did you have to do any assembly? Is the chain on the right way?
I did that to my self one day after I had stripped the saw down to clean it up. I put the chain on backwards. They won't cut worth a damn that way.
Charlie

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&productId0007327&langId=-1&catalogId053&PIDP0871&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&cpncode    -35000909-2&URL=http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BuildLinkToHomeDepot?linktype=product&id0007327&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&AID368321&cj=true&srccode=cii_9324560
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Wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple! I will check. Don't think so though; cuts too well for that. I have cut very little with it, and I don't think it is any worse now than when new. I just adjusted the tension because it was a bit loose. Don't know what a depth stop is. Please advise.

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http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&productId0007327&langId=-1&catalogId053&PIDP0871&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&cpncode    -35000909-2&URL=http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BuildLinkToHomeDepot?linktype=product&id0007327&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&AID368321&cj=true&srccode=cii_9324560
If the chain saw is running okay, then it's your chain. You can have them professionally sharpened for about five bucks apiece, or buy a sharpener and learn to do it yourself. Sounds like yours is a chain issue, and not a motor issue.
The next time you buy a chain saw, buy a Husqvarna and that will be the last one you will buy. Available from $237 on the Internet. I have a $245 that I got for $240 brand new, and it's great. But you DO have to keep the blades sharp, and hitting one rock or pocket of dirt will dull a chain.
HTH
Steve
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Learn how to properly sharpen your chain including the depth gauges (rakers). Or buy a new chain. Or have your chain sharpened by a saw shop.
Note that if you touch a running chainsaw to the ground just once, it will need to be sharpened.
Stihl - Chain Saw Safety, Operation & Maintenance DVD... http://www.stihlusa.com/information/info_lit_video.html
Oregon Maintenance and Safety Manual... http://www.oregonchain.com/tech/manual_maint.htm
Chainsaw safery and maintenance books/videos... http://www.loggingsafety.com/lsr-chain.htm

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&productId0007327&langId=-1&catalogId053&PIDP0871&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&cpncode    -35000909-2&URL=http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BuildLinkToHomeDepot?linktype=product&id0007327&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&AID368321&cj=true&srccode=cii_9324560
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Bill wrote:

If you're an occasional user don't bother trying to learn hot to properly sharpen a chain, just pay a good local shop the $10 and be done with it. Before you have the chain sharpened, go to said local power equipment shop and have them make up a new chain for you of quality non anti-kickbak chain like a good Oregon type. Almost certainly the chain you get on a cheap saw is an anti-kickback type the doesn't cut worth a damn and a pro wouldn't touch with a 10' pole (saw).
Even my Shindaiwa 488 came standard with a crap anti-kickback chain which my shop recommended throwing in the garbage and replacing with real chain. I put it aside as a last ditch backup chain and when I had some time tried both the anti-kickback chain and the good "real" chain they gave me on the same 12" logs and the difference was dramatic.
Pete C.
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If you use the quite dangerous chains which lack the anti-kickback links, then you should also have training on how to avoid injury when using these chains and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect yourself in the event of a kickback.
PPE for operating a chainsaw... http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/manual/logger/logger.html
Chainsaw injury statistics... http://www.elvex.com/facts08.htm
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Bill wrote:

When operating potentially dangerous equipment I always pay close attention to safety and to date have avoided any serious injuries despite many dangerous activities.
My favorite story was one Saturday when I was out in the middle of the woods, by myself, with no cell coverage, working with my chain saw and a large back hoe clearing a number of trees. At the same time a coworker of mine was in the office doing some network work.
At the end of the day, one of us was visiting the emergency room... Hint, it wasn't me :) He managed to put a knife through his hand while cutting inner duct for fiber optic cable, while I ended the day without a scratch... Ok, probably a few scratches from dragging all that brush around...
Pete C.
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My favorite is the home remodeling show where they were remodeling the two daughter's room of a single blind dad.
The blind dad wanted to help, and wanted to use the small air nailer. The show's carpenter had reservations about it, and wouldn't allow it. Fast forward to the next day. Guess who had the big white bandage on his thumb? Yep. The blind guy had to finish the job for him. It was hilarious because the carpenter "didn't want to talk about it."
Steve
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Invite someone else to try it out to see if it is working properly.
If you bring it home from the store and spend 20 minutes cutting the sandy roots of tree in your yard, then it is dulled and that explains it.
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A sharp chain should take relatively large flakes out. IF its making sawdust like powder, the chain is dull.
wrote:

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On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 14:44:24 +0000, Toller wrote:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid136069000&vertical=Sears&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&productId0007327&langId=-1&catalogId053&PIDP0871&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&cpncode    -35000909-2&URL=http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BuildLinkToHomeDepot?linktype=product&id0007327&cm_mmc=CJ-_-nextag-_-D28X-_-100007327&AID368321&cj=true&srccode=cii_9324560
I have Echo trimmers and blowers and they are quality tools but my saw is a Stihl. You won't be disappointed with Stihl.
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wrote:

Gee, do you think there might be a connection there?

I bet you put the chain on backwards when you assembled it.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 17:47:49 +0000, Doug Miller wrote:

Will the chain still drive correctly backwards? I don't have any experience with putting one on that way:) And I don't want to go down to the shed to look at mine (95 degrees here at 2 pm)
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Meat Plow wrote:

"Correctly?" No. Will it stay on and go around for at least a little while? Yeah...DAMHIKT!!! (Not paying attention one day... :)
--




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On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 13:15:52 -0500, dpb wrote:

I didn't think so. Certainly not well enough to get as far as starting to cut something and wondering why it won't. I pulled a stupid one the other day. Went to start mine and the chain wouldn't move. Shut it off and tried to move it by hand, no luck. I though hell, the clutch or something is froze. Here the chain brake had been activated and I didn't notice it :)
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