New petrol chainsaw - what to go for?

I'm in the market for a new petrol chainsaw. When I say 'petrol' I mean 2-stroke (I suppose!).
My old one is an Alko - had it 30 years, used maybe 4 times a year for odd jobs (pruning and firewood cutting - not felling). It's showing its age in various ways, the main one being that the auto-oiler failed a year or two back (following advice in this hallowed place, I currently oil it by dripping the oil on the sawchain every few minutes from an old washingup liquid bottle.)
I also have a Bosch electric saw (a Top Ten Tool), but one needs a petrol every now and again, doesn't one?
Where do I start? Don't know whether to splurge 150 quid or so (e.g. the Makita 35cm), or get one of those at well under 100 quid. Of course I can wade through the reviews on Amazon, but the voices of experience here are worth 100 Amazons.
My old one, and my electric one, are both about 35cm, which is big enough for everything I've ever done.
And while we're about it ... is there some Old Pro's trick to sharpening sawchains? It's SOOO tedious running the file over the teeth every now and again while doing a job!
Cheers John
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The best makes are Stihl and Husqvarna. Possibly Oregon next. I have had a Husqvarna for twenty years, seen lots of work and abuse.
You can buy electric gizmos to sharpen the chain. Little grinding wheel jobbies. They take a lot of metal off though per sharpening.
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Another John wrote:

I have a little 12V gadget that does it quite quickly. Frankly I'm glad of the sit down. I just make sure there's something interesting on Radio Four.
Bill
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Is that the Dremel gadget?
J.
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Another John wrote:

No, it's a thing I bought from a USA supplier many years ago.
Bill
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wrote:

Don't blunt it then.
Anyway if it's just dull 3 strokes freehand on the bar will touch it up. Rotate the file after every stroke and tap it frequently to shed the swarf, don't scrimp on files. Use a flat file every few sharpenings to take down the rakers.

Granberg are the one of choice or a cheap disc grinder from Aldi if you have dinged the chain but frankly the files work out better. As has been said the powered ones, especially the discs take off far to much too quickly.
AJH
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snipped-for-privacy@sylva.icuklive.co.uk wrote:

Duh - well I try not to! How do I avoid blunting it? Eventually, I mean; my neighbour goes at everything like a bull at a gate, and that's why I never lend him my chainsaw. However, even careful, not to say delicate, usage of a chainsaw is not going to prevent it becoming blunt. Is it?
Except that ...

Well now that is useful to know! I didn't know that "3 strokes freehand" is good enough for touching it up.

That's also useful to know -- an acquaintance of mine (at the other end of the country so I can't natter to hom to pick his brains) once said he prefers to use a handfile over the Dremel gadget.
Cheers John
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wrote:

You can actually if you both use the net or you get a cheap voip service like skype that can call normal phone numbers cheaply. Mine costs me just 10c a call regardless of how long the call lasts. Great for that sort of thing. One of my mates who has gone back to china so the grandparents can see the new brat calls most days to do that sort of thing for a total cost of just $100 a year to call everyone for free for as long as he likes.

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On 05/02/2015 19:31, Another John wrote:

I have a Makita which I bought from a friend some years ago. Apart from the time I had it professionally tuned it has always started easily (if you follow the right procedure). The auto oiling seems to work well, and its got plenty of power for most jobs. The blade brake works properly as well.
So if you can get one at a decent price I would... there are some tools where I feel its not wise to economise too much - those that can lop your limbs off when things go pear shaped being one class of them!

Buy a few spare chains, sharpen them before hand and put a new one on if it goes blunt during a job ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.
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I bought a Husqvarna some 6 years ago. Had it serviced 2 years ago when some internal fuel pick-up pipe came loose and I couldn't be bothered trying to strip it myself. It gets used twice a month at this time of the year to make sense of the big lumps of wood into smaller bits I can split... Very occasionally goes out at other times of the year to help chop up a fallen tree, etc. It just works - starts reliably, etc.

Keep a spare chain or 2... Easy to change in the middle of a job if you have to...
Gordon
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On Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:24:43 PM UTC, Gordon Henderson wrote:

p
I had a Stihl for years. Was a bastard to start as it had no primer. Eventu ally skipped it and bought a Husqvarna which starts easily enough but has a strange habit of choking if you open the throttle fully before it is warm. Apart from that I dislike the fact that opening the throttle automatically shuts off the choke.
But that Stihl was a real bastard.
Do have other Stihl gear which is fine.
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On 05/02/2015 19:31, Another John wrote:

Can't knock other recommendations for Husky / Stihl / Makita but FWIW I have been relatively happy with my slightly cheaper Ryobi chainsaw. It did need an oil pump gear replacing after not all that much use though. (Also have a Ryobi strimmer / hedge clipper which has been reliable).
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OP here - thanks, newshound, and everyone else for the valuable feedback ... my search fields are now nicely narrowed down!
John
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I have a McCulloch which I wouldn't recommend on account of it being a pig to start. Especially if you follow the directions.
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OP here again ... I mean to say this earlier... on the subject of starting bastard things like old lawnmowers, old chainsaws etc: a couple of years ago I started squirting Plusgas into the air intake of the relevant swine: starts first time every time, and once warmed never fails after that!
My Plusgas canister ran out, and so I went to my local motor factor (brilliant guys) for a replacement. Don't have that he said: try this: it's called - wait for it - Easy Start :-D
Just a short squirt: magic.
John
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For the last year or so I've been using a trick that someone on here mentioned which works a treat. Run an (unlit!) gas blowtorch into the air inlet when trying to start 2 strokes. I can start the pig chainsaw (hope so! I'm about to go and cut some wood...) and the recalcitrant hedge trimmers on the second or third pull that way. Another trick that works is to warm them up with a heat gun before trying to start them from cold.
Oddly, my Fuji Robin brushcutter starts more-or-less immediately, from cold, even after sitting unloved in the shed all winter.
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On 07/02/2015 10:08, Huge wrote:

Never tried that, but I *have* used a lit gas blowtorch to warm up the float chamber or carburettor body. One of the type used by cooks for creme brulee, although I use mine for soldering away from the mains.
Less alarming than you might think as long as you keep it away from fuel pipes and electrical wires.
Also a hot air gun, if you have electricity to hand.
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Aaaeeeiiii!!!!!!
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That was me, I start mine with a sniff of gas all the time now. Its at hand and just works.
Mike
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Yep. Brilliant trick, and thank you!
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