SEMI O.T. .. looking for chainsaw recommendations .. .. ..

My trusty old Stilh 031 is about dead and parts are getting hard to find, so I'm looking for a new saw .. .. .. Narrowed it down to another Stihl or possibly a HUSQVARNA .. .. .. anyone have recommendations PRO/CON for either brand ?? ?? ?? Haven't yet settled into a specific model number in a Stilh, but am looking at the #359 and the #55 .. .. ..
thanx in advance !!
-- I AM NOT PARANOID .. .. .. but EVERYONE thinks I am !! !! !!
<<<__ Bob __>>>
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Stihl or husqavarna if you can afford them. Those are the ones used by loggers and pros

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What kind of use are you getting it for? The 031 was a very sturdy saw--has to have been to last 35-odd years. You're looking at a pro model if you want to get similar life out of the new one. I have an old 032, by the way.
Stihl and Husqvarna are the top two companies, however Dolmar (sold as Makita in some parts), Solo, Echo, Shindaiwa, and Efco (sold as the new John Deer saws in some parts) are others of nearly equal quality and lower price. Your choice should mainly depend on dealer support and personal preference. Huskys can be a better deal, Stihls usually have more dealer support and the larger ones _may_ be more durable. The smaller companies' saws can usually be higher-tech (more power, less weight, easier to use) at a lower price but fewer users out there to vouch for them.
Anyway, a Stihl 026 or Husqvarna 346XP would both be saws of similar size and quality to your old 031. If you're looking at a good homeowner saw, the Husky 55 is hard to beat. Stihl's 025 and 029 are also homeowner saws but are either expensive or overweight for what they offer. I can't comment on the other brands' specific models.
You really should ask this question on a board with a big saw focus. The "tool shed" board at Gardenweb.com and Arboristsite.com are the top two. Arboristsite has a greater pro focus.
GTO(John)

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I bought the Stihl MS260C. Stihl just seems a bit more solid than Husky, maybe less plastic. I know lots of Husky owners and their saws are fine, but I see many more Stihls in the hands of tree people.
What Husky has going for it is the compression release, but I still went Stihl. I got the saw and case for $300.
The 55 is quite a bit heavier, I think, which I don't need. I got the 16" bar, for convenience and to keep from loading the engine unnecessarily. I do a rance of stuff from firewood to dragging in a few good sized logs. So far, I'm very pleased. The 260C is light enough to use for long periods and powerful enough to cut big logs, although I do have to ease off on the feed in big stuff. Overall, it's a good compromise.
I also have a cheap Timberbear I got at Harbor Freight. It's too heavy to use long, but has 3.7 CI and a 20 " bar. It does fine on the occasional big mama or stump.
Wilson

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I lived in Northern Michigan years ago and firewood was our main source of heat. Now I live in FL, so I only trim the trees on my 1/2 lot. I can appreciate the huge difference between the two needs, but ya didn't say what category you learn towards.
As a home owner, I really like the Poulan that I bought at my local Borg. It starts quick, IDLES when set on the ground, and hasn't required anything other than sharpening/replacing the chain in the several years I've owned it.
If I lived up North again (yea right), I'd opt for either of those brands you mentioned. I think they'd be overkill for my use these days.
The Poulan was cheap, it's reliable, works great, and when it dies someday, I consider it disposable due to the low initial cost.

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I bought a husky in california because it came with a case and was less expensive than stihl (for similar models).
Now that I've relocated to Denver CO, I find out the local shop only carries stihl, no huskies. When I asked the reason for not carrying husky, the employees said its because husky-varna just won't give them good service and support. My saw's been a very good performing tool, and now I hope I never need service,,,who knows where I'll have to send it.
mikey.
<<<___ Bob ___>>> wrote:

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We sell both saws, and for my money, its hard to beat a Stihl.
I went to their factory in Virginia Beach, and I was never so impressed with a manufacturing facility.
Anyway, I'd look long and hard at an MS360 ($500) if you do LOTS of wood cutting. The specs can be seen at www.stihlusa.com Keep in mind that the MS260($400) and MS360 are being replaced in the near future. I'm not sure when yet.
If you are only an occasional cutter, I'd look at the MS270($300), or MS280($350) depending on your budget.
Or if you use it seldom or for lighter duties, the MS250 is a great maintenance saw.
One thing to keep in mind if you are leaning toward Husqvarna. The 55 Rancher is going to be discontinued this fall. I never like buying anything that I know is going to be discontinued soon.
The Husqvarna specs can be viewed at www.husqvarna.com
Just as big a consideration as choosing the proper saw, is finding a dealer who can service your saw will offer the assistance that you need.
Good luck. Whatever you decide, Stihl or Husqvarna, know that both products are the best in their field.
Rick

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The 036 is quite a bit larger and heavier than an 031, so I doubt that this fellow would want one. That is, unless he's not happy with his old saw's size. I might go with a 372XP once you get up there.
What's up with the 270 and 280, anyway? Every dealer I talk to has a different story--pro models, homeowner, different areas, etc.
I love chainsaws. Probably have 25 of them now. Ever seen a Jonsereds 111S?
GTO(John)

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I don't know for sure with the 270 and 280.
When I was at the factory, they were both just launching this time last year. I asked the question, "So, is it a pro or consumer saw?".
The answer I got was...... "Both". Its for the light commercial guy or the moderate woodcutter or for the avid woodcutting homeowner. Talk about riding the fence.
It doesn't have the magnesium housing, its aluminum. But it does have a "pro" clear fuel tank. The quality of the engine was even less clearly defined.
So to be blunt, I still don't know. Apparently the engineers at Stihl that I spoke with don't know either. They were designed in Germany and I don't speak German, so I'll probably never know.
Rick

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I've a Husqvarna Rancher 55 and am extremely pleased with it. Best saw I've ever owned, or used bar none! You'll probably find several reviews by checking http://www.epinions.com FWIW, I got mine via a low price guarantee between Sears and Lowes (both carry the Huskys obviously), paid $286 incl tax for mine.
<<<___ Bob ___>>> wrote:

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