New Stihl Chainsaw

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Looking to buy a new chainsaw. How do the low end home owner type Stihls hold up? I'm not normally cutting firewood, but it seems a few 75 foot trees close to the house have to come down each year so I can sleep at night. Lets say I cut down about 5 trees a year with diameters from 12" up to 18", up to 75' tall. Is a low end model with an 18" chain enough? I'd definitely like one with the newer easy to adjust chain.
I have been using a crapsman/paulon? and the only thing I hated from the start was adjusting the chain. I bought it for $50 about 10 years ago at Sears as a refurbished unit someone returned. It always starts in 1 or 2 pulls no matter how long it sits. I'm going to spend > $18 on a new clutch part, the side with the chain sprocket is worn. It'll be nice to have as a backup for when I screw up and let a chain on a new saw get pinched.
If anyone remembers I asked about fixing the crapsman recently when the bolts that hold the bar and chain started pulling through the plastic case. I fixed that problem and I'm happy with that fix. Two bolts to remove the muffler was all it took to gain access to the bar bolts and for my repair. I got two bolts a little longer than the originals and welded a plate connecting the two bolt heads together (spaced properly so they would fit in again). It seemed to tighten up nicely but was in the way of the muffler, so I then heated the bolts and plate to where the plastic case was melting and snugged the bolts up again. It worked GREAT and it's possibly stronger than new!
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Tony wrote:

I have no idea what you consider "low end" but my Stihl MS 180c has held up fine, bought it six years ago after a bunch of hurricanes. __________

Again, I don't know what you consider low end. An 18" bar should be plenty. ____________

It sure is handy :)
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

I confused myself (easily done) forgot I had just been looking at Lows at the Husqvarna's and that was what I was thinking of. They have a high medium and real low end. Only the low end one had the easy to adjust chain tension. I didn't write down the model numbers.
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I bought a Stihl and my neighbor bought a Husqvarna about the same time about 5 years ago. We both heat our homes with wood. I have cut at least 5x the trees that he has, primarily because my saw has never failed and his is usually down for repairs. Stihl has the name and quality where Husqvarna has the name without the quality it used to have.
KC
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I got a Husky 345 online for $237. I am quite happy, but now wish I had upgraded to a larger one with a 20" bar. I have a 16". May still get another, but it surely will be a Stihl 20".
Steve
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Two words: Stihl Husqvarna

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Steve B wrote:

One word: Shindaiwa (not low end, rather top quality and will last a lifetime.)
A few more words: Oregon Micro-Chisel "pro" non-anti-kickback chains. (not consumer "safety" chains, these actually cut faster than a hand bow saw.)
I have a Shindaiwa 488 w/ 18" bar loaded with Oregon Micro-Chisel chain. It handles beautifully and I've even cut a couple rocks in half with it (embedded in a tree I cut down) without damage. The rocks did dull that chain, but it was able to be resharpened good as new.
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Pete C. wrote:

I purchased that type of chain for my old crapsman. Only place I found it was at a flea market. This guy had that chain for most saws. If he didn't have one made he would make them up for you as you wait. Without a doubt it cut better. It cut wood chips, the standard anti kickback chain blew sawdust. I could never see the safety chain making a difference for kickbacks, but I suppose if your slip and cut your leg the cut would be a fraction of what it would be with the good chain. I prefer to use the non-safety chain carefully instead of being reckless with the safety chain.
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Tony wrote:

When I first got the saw I did a test on a 12" or so tree with both a "safety" chain and the "real" chain and found it was around a 3X difference. You are exactly right about the sawdust from the "safety" chain, while the "real" chain was spewing inch long cuttings at phenomenal speed.
As for kickback, I've had that saw for about a decade now and it has seen quite a bit of use all with the "real" chains and I've yet to have a kickback incident. I also always work offset from the plane of the saw bar, so if there were a kickback the bar trajectory would be past me, not at me.
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This is a bit odd. Stihl chainsaws are still made in Germany, while the Husqvarna factory outside Montreal closed 10-20 years ago since when "Husqvarna" chainsaws sold in (eastern) N.America are made in Toronto in the same factory that makes saws for Sears Craftsman and Paulan. Users can tell the difference.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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IIANM Stihl is also built in the States (as well as in Germany).
Harry K
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On 4/18/2010 1:37 PM, Tony wrote:

Go with a Stihl, or Shindaiwa. The Husqies are dogs. Make sure you get a model that allows you to use a real chain, not the sawdust creating nail files sold on some of the 18" and smaller "home" units.
As Pete pointed out, the chain is important and most small saws can not rev up enough to handles an aggressive chain that buzzes through wood like butter.
The extra $100, or so, bucks you spend on the saw will be worth it in the long run. Buy two of the chains that Pete mentioned, and save your back. :)
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I have a Stihl and have no complaints about it. I have two chains so that when one gets dull, I replace it with the other and take the dull one to be sharpened.
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Pavel314 wrote:

I've found the chain saw file and guide at Lows and Wall Mart very easy to use and can sharpen a chain in about 5 minutes while on the saw.
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Tony wrote:

A Stihl is a Stihl. There is no such thing as a "LO-end" Stihl. There's no such thing as a "home owner type" Stihl. So yes, go for the Stihl saw that meets your budget and needs. Always use the Stihl oil in the fuel AND on the bar and you won't be disappointed.
s
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Errmm there are "Consumer" and "Pro" grade Stihls. The 'consumer' has a plastic case and weighs more than a 'Pro' grade. The consumer grade is also considerably less costly than the pro. I have 2 consumer and 1 pro grade (210, 310, 361) and am happy with both. I do 10 plus cords/yr and none of the saws have failed me.
Harry K
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Bzzt. Wrong.
Stihl MS290 - retail $349 Stihl MS260 - retail $509
If there weren't different grades of saws, why is the SMALLER saw more expensive by a long shot?
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On Apr 19, 1:37pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Some of the smaller expensive saws are extra light weight. So you can take them up a tree if you're a climber. I forgot the model but I'm pretty sure stihl makes one for using up in a tree. When you're on the side of a tree in spikes you want light.
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True but the point was the erroneous claim that there is only one grade of Stihl.
Harry K
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Exactly. Stihl says so right on their website... Three grades of saws:
1. Occasional Use 2. Midrange 3. Professional
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